Poultry Health Science Chair

Within the domain of “poultry health sciences” there is a need for expertise in various disciplines, including management, housing and climate control, disease control, animal welfare, public health and nutrition. There is thus also a need for trained personnel and for practical solutions for many infectious and non-infectious issues, and it is therefore necessary to conduct both fundamental and applied research.


  • Part 1: developing a shared chair in Poultry Health Sciences and establishing a postgraduate programme in this field within the departments of the chief researchers. The parties intend to work together closely to establish a postgraduate programme in Poultry Health Sciences, with a proposed launch in the 2020-21 academic year, and involving active participation of the sponsors alongside Ghent University. With regards to the organisation, Ghent University will be responsible for the content-related aspects of the programme while Vetworks will provide logistical support. Vetworks is willing to offer their expertise for giving and organising training courses and workshops, for example by sharing the course materials and lesson plans that Vetworks already uses in international workshops. Vetworks is also willing to support the postgraduate programme by drawing on its exceptional expertise in the international poultry sector and its knowledge of the poultry industry, to ensure that the programme meets the needs of the industry.
  • Part 2: developing common academic research and research transfer within the domain, with a focus on the “Poultry one health paradigm”, including (i) “Healthy people”, on the impact of poultry on public health; (ii) “Healthy animals”, on the health of animals and animal welfare; and, finally (iii) “Healthy environment” on sustainable production in the poultry sector. Here the Sponsors are willing to support this research at Ghent University both financially, materially and in terms of content. 


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Prof. Filip Van Immerseel (Department of Pathology, Bacteriology & Poultry diseases) 

Filip Van Immerseel obtained a Master’s in Bio-Engineering Sciences in 1999 from KU Leuven, and a Master’s in Laboratory Animal Sciences in 2004 from Ghent University. He obtained his doctorate in Veterinary Medical Sciences in 2004 from Ghent University, studying the infiltration of intestinal immunity cells following Salmonella infection in chickens, and environmental factors in the intestine that have an effect on Salmonella invasion.  After a post-doc, he was appointed research professor at Ghent University in 2008. He is currently a full professor in the Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Poultry Diseases, in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University, and heads a research group that studies the interaction between host and bacteria. At present, Filip Van Immerseel has published over 170 academic papers in international peer-reviewed journals, and has also written chapters and books about Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens, and is a well-known speaker at international events. He is editor of the journal “Avian Pathology”, and is involved in numerous international collaborations and research networks. 

Prof. Siska Croubels (Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology & Biochemistry)

Prof. Siska Croubels graduated magna cum laude as a pharmacist, in 1992 (Ghent University). After she obtained her doctorate in 1997 in the field of bio-analysis of veterinary drug residues in food (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University), she immediately started postdoctoral research at the Laboratory for Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Ghent University). In 2004 she was appointed assistant professor in veterinary toxicology in the same faculty. Since 2014 she has been full professor and currently is head of the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Biochemistry. She is an associate member of the European College of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology (ECVPT), and an external expert for FAVV (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food chain), the Belgische Hoge Gezondheidsraad (the Belgian Health Council), and the BCFI (Belgian Centre for Pharmacotherapeutic Information). She is also a member of the Research Council of Ghent University (BOF), the Industrial Research Fund (IOF), and of various research committees of international symposia such as the International Symposium for Hormone and Veterinary Drug Residue Analysis (VDRA), the European Association for Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology (EAVPT), and Antimicrobial Agents in Veterinary Medicine (AAVM) conferences. She is also a member of the editorial board of the journal “Mycotoxin Research”. She is manager of the GLP department that works on pharmacokinetics, bioequivalence and studies of drug residues.  


Prof. Gunther Antonissen

Leerstoelhouder leerstoel Poultry Health ScienceProf. Gunther Antonissen has held the Poultry Health Sciences Chair at Ghent University since April 2019. He obtained his Master’s in Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University in 2011. In 2015 he obtained a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, also at Ghent University, researching the interaction between mycotoxins and the pathogenesis of bacterial infection in broiler chickens. Subsequently, as an FWO-postdoctoral researcher, he investigated the impact of mycotoxins on the intestinal ecosystem of broiler chickens. To date, Gunther Antonissen has published 40 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals and is a well-known speaker at international events.