Luc Kestens
1980 …2022

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Research expertise

Luc Kestens graduated as a Master in Biology in 1978 from the University of Antwerp.

He joined the Laboratory of Pathology and experimental schistosomiasis of ITM in the same year and prepared a PhD thesis on the immunopathology of immune complexes in murine experimental schistosomiasis which he defended in 1987. Because his interest in immunology, he became involved in HIV research since the early days of the HIV pandemic in 1983. In 1985, he was the first to publish the lack of association between HIV and the endemic form of Kaposi’s Sarcoma in Eastern Africa.

Since 1985, his main research focus was the immunopathogenesis of HIV published more than one hundred twenty scientific papers in international scientific journals. He became lecturer in Immunology at ITM in 1998,  was appointed head of the laboratory of Immunology in 1995,  and was elected chairman of the Department of Microbiology in 2000. He supervises several undergraduate students, Master and PhD students.

Luc Kestens is professor at ITM and professor in immunology of tropical infectious diseases of the University of Antwerp. He serves in scientific committees of the Flemish Institute of Science and Technology (IWT) and the Flemish Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR). He is expert consultant of Belgian Institute of Public Health (ISP-WIV) and consultant for international organizations such as the WHO. His lab is part of the WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV/AIDS Diagnostic and Laboratory Support, in particular CD4 counting.

Research lines

  • The immunological cause for resistance against HIV-infection.
  • Immunological monitoring of HIV infection and immune reconstitution.
  • The immunopathogenesis of the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) in HIV patients.
  • Alternatives for immunological monitoring of HIV infection in development countries.

Education/Academic qualification



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