Vanmechelen, Bert
Faculteit Diergeneeskunde
Vakgroep Translationele Fysiologie, Infectiologie en Volksgezondheid
Bert Vanmechelen was born on the 17th of April, 1994 in Leuven. In 2016, he graduated summa cum laude from the KU Leuven as master of biomedical sciences, after having successfully defended a thesis on the use of nanopore sequencing for clinical virology. Fascinated by the impact viruses can have on human and animal health, he enrolled as a doctoral student at the KU leuven faculty of medicine in 2017. Equally fascinated by the potential that sequencing technologies can offer for biomedical research, he also enrolled as a doctoral student at the faculty of veterinary medicine of the UGent in 2018. In 2021, Bert Vanmechelen obtained the degree of doctor in the biomedical sciences by defending a thesis on the development of new in vitro virus alternatives for the study of Ebola and Marburg virus. He also received a certificate for having completed his doctoral training in immunology and microbiology. Bert Vanmechelen works as a postdoctoral scientist at the laboratory of clinical and epidemiological virology of the KU Leuven. He is a first author or co-author of more than 40 scientific articles, preprints and technical reports, and has actively participated in several national and international conferences.
Academische graad
Doctor in de diergeneeskundige wetenschappen
Taal proefschrift
Prof. dr. Hans Nauwynck, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UGent - Dr. Sebastiaan Theuns, Pathosense - Prof. dr. Piet Maes, Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven

Korte beschrijving

Virus discovery is a specific branch of virological research that is focused on the discovery and characterization of new viruses. Since the first descriptions of viruses at the end of the 19th century, the number of known viruses has grown continually, with the speed at which new viruses are being found increasing at an ever-fastening pace. Technological advancements and an improved understanding of virus biology act as catalysts for novel discoveries, which in turn provide new insights that aid in the development of faster, more informative, more reliable and cheaper methodologies for virus research. In the last decade, the development and optimization of high-throughput sequencing technologies has allowed this self-enforcing cycle to culminate in an exponential expansion of the list of known viruses, while simultaneously showing that what is known pales in comparison to what is left to be discovered. Through a series of specific examples, focused on two particular families of RNA viruses that house many important animal pathogens, the families Arteriviridae and Paramyxoviridae, this doctoral thesis aims to provide a contribution to the current knowledge of mammalian virus diversity and to highlight and discuss some of the key advantages and limitations of currently available research tools.


Vrijdag 9 december 2022, 16:30
Diergeneeskunde Aud Maximum, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke

If you would like to attend, please register before December 6th, by email to