Courses are taught by Ghent University associated instructors, complemented with poultry experts from all around the world from academia, research organizations, and industry.
Gunther Antonissen is appointed as chairholder of the Chair Poultry Health Sciences at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. He holds the European Diplomate status of the European College of Poultry Veterinary Science (ECPVS). The poultry research of the group of prof. Antonissen is multidisciplinary, focusing on a better understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious and non-infectious diseases, improving diagnostics, improving animal welfare and demonstrating the efficacy and safety of prevention and treatment strategies. Current research is related to gut health (alternatives to antibiotics, diagnostics), mycotoxins and endotoxins (e.g. impact on animal and human health, interaction of mycotoxins and infectious diseases, mechanism of action and safety of detoxifying agents), host-pathogen interaction, antimicrobial resistance, and poultry welfare (monitoring and interventions).
Filip Van Immerseel is full professor and heading the Livestock Gut Health Team (LiGHT) at the Department of Pathobiology, Pharmacology and Zoological Medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. He is globally recognized for his work on intestinal microbiota-host interactions in poultry, with more than 200 papers, a dozen of patents on gut health solutions, and multiple out-licensed products on the market. He is a well-known invited speaker at conferences, editor of Avian Pathology, and recognized for the numerous research projects with fundamental scientific and industrial relevance.
Siska Croubels is full professor at UGent and director of the Department of Pathobiology, Pharmacology and Zoological Medicine of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Her research focuses on in vivo ADME processes (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion), residues and safety of drugs and mycotoxins in several animal species. Her laboratory is recognized for the analysis of small molecules in biological, food, feed and environmental matrices, using state-of-the-art UHPLC-MS/MS instruments. She authored over 300 A1- publications and book chapters, and promoted 30 doctoral theses.
Maarten De Gussem is founder and Poultry Consultant of Vetworks: servicing the poultry industry with a global team of specialists and providing support on poultry health topics all over the world, with focus on mycoplasmosis, general gut health and coccidiosis. Besides his work at Vetworks, Maarten is academic adviser at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University and a member of scientific committees of Poultry Mycoplasma Conference and of the International Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health. Maarten De Gussem is also author of Broiler Signals, a leading broiler management book in more than 12 languages.
Hilde Van Meirhaeghe is Poultry Consultant for Vetworks, a group of poultry veterinarians giving technical support in poultry health worldwide for integrations and the pharmaceutical industry. She is Academic adviser and teaching poultry parasitology at the Ghent University, also involved in education programs and hands-on training for poultry professionals in EU Africa, Asia, Latin America. Hilde Van Meirhaeghe contributed to several research projects on hygiene, food safety and disease control, recently in the European Commission funded EFFORT (reduction of antimicrobial resistance in poultry) and a project on defining innovative tools to assess gut health issues in poultry.
Ward De Spiegelaere is professor in integrative Morphology at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Ghent University. He teaches anatomy of exotic pets an comparative anatomy of laboratory animals. His research focuses on the role of macrophages in angiogenesis using the chicken embryo as a model system.
Pieter Cornillie is associate professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University. He is responsible for education and research in veterinary anatomy and embryology. His research focuses on the developmental vascular anatomy and angioarchitecture, including fine cardiac anatomy and its conductive system, mainly in the equine heart. Apart from the typical domestic animal species, also the cardiovascular system of large cetaceans is targeted. His second major research topic is age estimation in domestic animals and wildlife, based on anatomical characteristics.
Wim Van den Broeck is professor in veterinary cell biology and histology at Ghent University (UGent) since 2002, head of the Department of Morphology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine since 2017, and co-founder of the UGent Expertise Centre for Transmission Electron Microscopy. Furthermore, he is member of the Europan Association of Veterinary Anatomists, and of the European Microscopy Society. His research areas focus on the ultrastructure of the gut associated lymphoid tissue in general, and of tonsils in particular, and on the identification, localization and function of telocytes in the porcine heart. He has published more than 210 papers in peer reviewed international scientific journals.
Bert Devriendt is assistant professor at Ghent University, at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the Laboratory of Immunology. His research investigates host-pathogen interactions in livestock species, with a focus on enteropathogens and the gut immune system, as well as how the obtained knowledge might inform on the development of novel oral vaccines. He authored over 70 scientific publications and book chapters.
Richard Ducatelle is emeritus professor in veterinary pathology at Ghent University since 1992. His research interest is gut health in animals, with emphasis on poultry. He is diplomate of the European College of Poultry Veterinary Science since 2014. He is president of the Belgian branch of the World Veterinary Poultry Association since 1992. He has published more than 600 papers in peer reviewed international scientific journals. He was an invited speaker at more than 80 national and international congresses and symposia.
From 1988 onwards Eddy Decuypere was full senior professor and head of the laboratory of Physiology of Domestic Animals at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). During his career he published more than 850 papers in international peer reviewed journals and many book chapters and review papers. The main research themes were incubation and embryo development in the chicken, endocrinology and energy metabolism in broilers, broiler breeder reproduction. Each of these themes linked fundamental as well as applied research topics.
Geert Janssens graduated in 1992 as agricultural engineer at KU Leuven, Belgium. He obtained his PhD in veterinary sciences in 1999 at Ghent University on pigeon nutrition. He is now professor at the same faculty, where he initiated a range of research lines, with main focus on the role of intestinal events on metabolic traits, nutritional modulation of energy homeostasis, and micromineral-related physiology. He appreciates the added value of comparative nutrition, involving species from throughout the animal kingdom within both wild and domesticated animals, including poultry nutrition work.
Africa graduated from Santiago University, Spain in 1996. She completed a master’s in veterinary science in 1997 at the University of Leon. She is a field expert in health, biosecurity and management of pedigree, great grant parents, grandparent, breeders, and broilers. Since June 2019, Africa works as Global poultry consultant at Vetworks with focus on breeder parent’s management, pathogens control, and biosecurity and health plans.
In 2017, Tiago Prucha graduated as a Master in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Porto. Tiago has worked at one of the largest broiler integrations in Portugal as a poultry veterinarian and farm manager. This experience gave him an indispensable insight on a functioning full poultry production cycle. Since 2018, Tiago is working as a Poultry Consultant at Vetworks. On behalf of Vetworks, Tiago is working on several projects including: The EU H2020 Phagovet: A cost-effective solution for controlling Salmonella and Escherichia coli in poultry production; e-learning modules to the Broiler Signals manual.
Jeroen Dewulf is a full professor in Veterinary Epidemiology. His research focus on prevention of endemic and epidemic diseases through biosecurity measures and animal health aspects that may influence public health such as antimicrobial use and resistance in animals as well as zoonotic infections. He is member of the scientific committee of the Belgian federal food Agency and is the founder and chair of board of the center of expertise on antimicrobial use and resistance in animals (AMCRA) in Belgium.
Nele Caekebeke graduated as a veterinarian in 2016 with a major in Scientific Research at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University. She finished her PhD on coaching of farmers towards improved infection prevention in 2021. Today, she is combining her job as managing director of Biocheck.Gent, a company that focuses on biosecurity as the first and primary level of disease prevention in animal production, with a position as a postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University.
Dominiek Maes is full professor and head of the Unit of Porcine Health Management at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University Belgium. He teaches swine health and production, animal housing and veterinary public health. His main research areas focus on infectious disease in swine (mainly respiratory disease), reproduction and production. Dominiek Maes has published over 300 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, supervised 35 PhDs, and made more than 600 contributions to national and international conferences. He is section editor of the journal Livestock Science since 2012.
Sebastiaan Van Hoorebeke graduated as a veterinarian specialized in poultry in 2006. He obtained his PhD in Veterinary Sciences in 2010 investigating the effect of different housing systems on Salmonella and antimicrobial resistance in laying hens. He is a field expert in different aspects of modern poultry (turkeys, broilers, laying hens, breeders) production such as general farm management, nutrition, biosecurity, vaccination programs, and zootechnical results.
Evelyne Delezie graduated as Master of Science in Bio-Engineering (option Animal Production) at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, KU Leuven in July 2002. After she obtained her PhD at the same university in 2006, she joined the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Animal Sciences Unit. As a senior researcher and research group leader of the small livestock husbandry she performs fundamental as well as practical research for Flemish agriculture. Main topics of interest are dealing with nutrient requirements, relationship between nutrition and climate (emissions and excretions), product quality and poultry health, investigating alternatives for crude protein sources, antibiotics and general production problems with poultry. Furthermore, she is also vice-president of the WPSA Belgium and active in different European WPSA working groups.
Marta Lourenço graduated in 2003 as Veterinarian at the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. In 2007 she obtained her PhD in Applied Biological Sciences from Ghent University, Belgium. In 2017 she joined ILVO as a senior researcher in poultry nutrition. She has vast experience in gut health evaluation, assessment of the impact of feed and feed additives on nutritional physiology, gut and animal health and metabolism, animal performance and end-product quality.
Miriam Alberto – Tempra has been serving the animal feed industry for the past 23 years as an Animal Nutritionist. She finished her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Animal Science major in Animal Nutrition from the University of the Philippines Los Banos in 2010. She is an expert in poultry and swine nutrition, with hands-on experience in the feed additive industry, and by providing technical services to farms and feedmills.
Veterinarian Mathias Devreese is associate professor of veterinary pharmacology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. He is an EBVS™ European Specialist in Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology (ECVPT Diplomat) and fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (AAVPT) and the European Association for Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology (EAVPT). His research focusses on pharmacological aspects of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial posology as well as the ontogeny of physiological processes to aid preclinical research.
Miel Hostens is assistant professor at the department of Farm Animal Health at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht. His research and services focusses on herd health management in relation to big data in dairy management.
An Garmyn is an associate professor in Poultry and Companion birds and heads the Necropsy Division for the Clinic of Poultry and Exotic Animals at the Department of Pathobiology, Pharmacology and Zoological Medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, at Ghent University. She has 15 year of expertise in avian pathology, veterinary microbiology, in vivo infection modelling in poultry and poultry management. Research emphasis is on host-pathogen interaction and development of mitigation, situated in the field of bacterial infections in poultry (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Brachyspira, E. coli, Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale, Clostridium, Mycoplasma,…).
Peter Geldhof is full professor in parasitology at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. His research is positioned at the crossroad of immunology and parasitology and aims at unravelling the host-parasite interplay during infection. The ultimate goal is to develop and provide tools for the improved diagnosis and control of gastrointestinal parasites in animals.
Venessa Eeckhaut is postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University, department of Pathobiology, Pharmacology and Zoological Medicine at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She is mainly known for her work on strictly anaerobic butyrate producers with focus on their potential as next generation probiotics.
Evy Goossens works as a post-doctoral researcher at Ghent University, focusing on gut health in livestock production. Her interests centre on host-pathogen and host-microbiome interactions, and how these influence health and disease. Methods employed reach from anaerobic microbiology to microbial engineering, NGS sequencing (microbiome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNAseq), bioinformatics and measurements of host-pathogen interactions.
Siegrid De Baere is Laboratory Advisor at the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology. She is involved in the performance of pharmacokinetic, bioavailability, bioanalysis, residue and safety studies according to GLP principles and in different research projects in the field of veterinary pharmacology and toxicology. She has over 20 years of experience in the development and validation of analytical methodologies for the detection and quantification of xenobiotics (drugs, mycotoxins and their metabolites) and endogenous compounds in different biological matrices of animal origin, using liquid chromatography mass spectrometric techniques.
Frank Tuyttens is head of the Farm Animal Welfare & Behaviour research group of the Flemish Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO, Belgium). His research focusses on assessing, monitoring and improving the welfare of livestock. He is chair of the ILVO Ethical Commission for animal experiments and member of the steering group of the Flemish Council for Animal Welfare. He is visiting professor of farm animal welfare & ethology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University.
Christel Moons is Associate Professor in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare. She is the head of the Ethology and Animal Welfare Research Group, Department of Veterinary and Biosciences at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University. Her research focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of welfare problems in animals managed by humans. She is also the president of the Brussels Animal Welfare Council, a member of the Flemish Committee on Animal Experimentation and an Associate Member of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (subspecialty Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law).
Lynn Vanhaecke is Full Professor and head of the Lab of Chemical Analysis at the Department of Translational Physiology, Infectiology and Public Health at Ghent University and holds a 20% appointment at the Institute of Global Food Security at QUB. The chemical analyses of food, biofluids and environmental matrices, the metabolism and biological activity of food and contaminants, and the holistic analysis of small molecules through metabolomics and lipidomics using advanced high-resolution mass spectrometry in relation to human and animal health belong to her major research objectives.
Kurt Houf is veterinarian and full professor at the department of veterinary Veterinary and Biosciences, Ghent University, and visiting professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He is also a diplomate at the European college of Veterinary Pubic health. Since 1996, he works on the isolation, identification and characterization of foodborne bacteria in the food chain, with a focus on poultry products. Current research is on the impact of the microbiota on the safety of food of animal origin, including the role of production areas as slaughterhouses, cutting and processing plants and at retail.