Laurens Liesenborghs

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Laurens Liesenborghs is an infectious disease specialist and researcher specialized in emerging infectious disease and humanitarian medicine. He has a broad scientific background and experience in several key domains of emerging infectious disease research, including animal models, preclinical drug development, virology, vaccinology, microbiology, clinical trials, and epidemiology.

During his PhD he developed a new preclinical mouse model to study the pathophysiology of infective endocarditis. Afterwards, he specialized in emerging viruses. First, by working for Doctors without Borders in a Lassa Fever project in Sierra Leone. Next, by conducting postdoctoral research in the BSL3+ lab of the University of Leuven. There, he helped to develop a hamster model of COVID-19 and worked on testing antivirals and a vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2.

Currently, he is an assistant professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) and a member of ITM’s multidisciplinary Outbreak Research Team. His current research interest mainly concerns Monkeypox. Already before the global outbreak started, he was leading a ‘one-health’ project on MPXV transmission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, he is currently conducting several research projects on MPX in Belgium, including a study on asymptomatic presentation, a close follow-up of high-risk contacts and several studies on MPXV diagnostics. He is also involved in a large European platform trial on MPX therapeutics.

Besides monkeypox, his main research topics include outbreak research, COVID-19 and viral hemorrhagic fevers, with ongoing projects in Belgium, DRC, Burundi, Guinea, Ghana and Ethiopia.



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