Since the creation of the lab by Prof. Paul-Pierre Pastoret, the two main topics of the lab have always been the development of new vaccines and the study of host pathogen interactions with a special interest for immune-evasion mechanisms developed by pathogens. Various host-pathogen models were studied over the last fifteen years focusing mainly on animal viruses but also on few parasites. In a recent past Alain Vanderplasschen investigated the anti-complement molecules expressed in the saliva of Ixodes ricinus ticks. Very recently, Benjamin Dewals took profit of his post-doc in Cape Town University to initiate original researches on schistosomiasis.

For an overview of the main recent discoveries of the lab during this period please see the "PhD theses" and the "Publications" pages. The scientific production of the lab over the last five years can be summarized as follows: 8 PhD theses defended, 3 fired patents and contribution to more than 50 publications.

The lab is now structured in three sub-groups closely related but directed by independent PIs: Dr Benjamin Dewals, Prof. Laurent Gillet and Prof. A. Vanderplasschen.

  • Dr Benjamin Dewals is directing a group devoted to the study of malignant catarrhal fever induced by Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 in susceptible species and to the study of schistosomiasis.

  • Prof. Laurent Gillet is leading a group focusing on the immune evasion mechanisms developed by gammaherpesviruses to evade neutralisation by host antibodies and on the imprinting caused by their infection on the host immune system.

  • Prof. A. Vanderplasschen is animating a group focusing on the immune evasion mechanisms developed by Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (a virus killing common and koi carp) and on the development of new vaccines for animals. His team is characterized by a mixed interest for fundamental and applied researches. Alain Vanderplasschen is the coordinator of the PAI network BELVIR.

  • Man power

    The size of the lab fluctuates between 25 and 30 people. The goal of the group is to maintain a good equilibrium between PhD students and Post-docs.

    Technical platforms

    Over the last decade, the lab has been at the origin of key platform acquisitions on the site of the veterinary faculty such as flow cytometry units (analyzer and high speed sorter), confocal microscope and in vivo imaging system. The lab is making these tools accessible for free to the faculty and the university members in the context of collaborations. We are also pleased to make these platforms accessible to external users. Please contact us for rating.


    The founding of the lab relied on grants allocated by the "Fond National Belge pour la Recherche Scientifique" (FNRS – FRIA), the Walloon Region, the French community of Belgium, the EU and the University. The lab has also some grants allocated by private companies involved in vaccine and therapy developments.

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