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Bridges Digital Congress on Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

Speakers’ biographies

Day 1 February 21st


Prof. dr. Marjolein van Egmond

Marjolein van Egmond is professor in Oncology and Inflammation at Amsterdam UMC. Throughout her career she has been fascinated by the role of antibodies in immunity and the activation of immune cells via antibody receptors (Fc receptors). Due to a dual appointment at a research- and clinical department, she is in an excellent position to translate experimental findings into clinical applications. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis she has actively been involved in explaining the immune system and COVID-19 vaccines to the Dutch general public


Prof. dr. Eric van Gorp

Prof. dr. Eric C.M. van Gorp, Dept. Of Viroscience, Erasmus MC Prof. dr. Eric C.M. van Gorp is an internist/ infectiologist/virologist at the Erasmus MC, heading the clinical working group of Emerging Viral infections [EVI] in the Department of Viroscience. His field of interest is the social and scientific impact of infectious diseases. The EVI group is involved in research in the field of Emerging [outbreak] viruses like Dengue, Ebola, Zika and the new coronavirus, COVID-19, with an extensive (inter)national network in the Netherlands, theCaribbean, Surinam, Brasil and Indonesia. Vaccine effectiveness studies [multicenter] in risk groups and optimizing vaccination implementation strategies is a second field of expertise. He is supervisor of the Vaccination outpatient clinic and the Clinical trial unit from the Virosciencedepartment.

Alex Vorsters

Dr. Alex Vorsters
Ir, MSc, PhD

After his studies as Bioengineer at Free University of Brussels, 1989, he followed a postgraduate course on Tropical Veterinary Medicine at Tropical Medicine Institute of Antwerp (ITG). Since 2001 he works as senior project coordinator and researcher at the University of Antwerp within the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination. Since then he is involved in several vaccine preventable disease projects including the Viral Hepatitis Prevention board ( Since 2015 he coordinates the activities of the Human Papilloma Virus Prevention and Control board ( He got his Phd Medical Sciences in 2016 on detection of HPV DNA in urine and monitoring the impact of HPV vaccination. In 2020 he became Associated Professor and he is currently coordinating a research team that investigates the use of first void urine as a liquid biomarker source: in cervical cancers screening programs, for follow-up of HPV vaccination programs and other genital tract infections in women.


Prof. dr. Marc van Ranst

At the University Hospitals Leuven, Marc van Ranst is currently head of the Department of Laboratory Medicine. He is also Director of the Clinical and Epidemiological Virology Laboratory, and director of the AIDS reference laboratory and of several national reference laboratories.

Day 2 February 22nd


Dr. Mark Claassen

Mark Claassen is an internist-infectious diseases specialist at Hospital Rijnstate Arnhem. His clinical work focusses on patients suffering from hepatitis B, C, and HIV infections. He is a member the Dutch HBV- and HCV-richtsnoer (guidance) steering committees. His main research interest is in translational (immunological) infectious diseases studies.


Prof. dr. Ab Osterhaus

As professor and head of "Viroscience" at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Ab Osterhaus has had a long track record as PI of numerous scientific projects. Currently he is Professor and Founding Director of the Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. More than 70 human and animal viruses were discovered (e.g. human metapneumo-, human corona- and influenza viruses), their pathogenesis elucidated, and innovative intervention strategies developed.

Gilles Darcis

Dr. Gilles Darcis

Gilles Darcis is researcher and medical doctor. He is postdoctoral clinical master specialist (Part-time FNRS mandate for a specialised registered doctor in possession of a PhD) and infectious diseases specialist in Liège University Hospital (Belgium). He is mostly interested in different aspects of HIV infection, from basic and translational research on HIV reservoirs and cure to clinical aspects. He was recently involved in COVID-19 research as well.

Marc Bonten

Prof. dr. Marc Bonten

Professor Marc Bonten was head of the Department of Medical Microbiology from 2008 till March 2021 at University Medical Center Utrecht. Since 2003 he is head of the research group of Infectious Disease Epidemiology of the Julius Center of Health Sciences and Primary Care and professor of molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases. He has been a principal investigator in many large-scale epidemiologic studies and investigator-initiated randomized trials of prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

More information

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact the following individuals for further information:


For medical questions contact Suzi Lavenne at:
and for logistical questions contact Hanne Janssen at:

The Netherlands:

For medical questions contact Faizel Sukhrie at:
and for logistical questions contact Marjon Brokx at:

EM-82007 - December 2021