Vanessa Vankerckhoven

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Vanessa Vankerckhoven is appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Novosanis. She co-founded the company in March 2013. Novosanis is a spin-off company from the University of Antwerp and is specialized in medical devices. 

Vanessa Vankerckhoven previously worked as Research & Innovation Manager of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO) at the University of Antwerp (from 2009 until 2013). She was responsible for assessing and coordinating technology transfer opportunities and facilitating collaborations with research and industrial partners. She also worked as project manager and head of the managing entity for the EU-IMI project RAPP-ID (Development of RApid Point-of-Care test Platforms for Infectious Diseases; www.rapp-id.eu). 

Vanessa Vankerckhoven started her career in September 2000 at the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology at the University Hospital Antwerp / University of Antwerp, Belgium headed by Prof Dr Herman Goossens. Next to conducting a PhD, she worked as the project manager for the EU-PROSAFE project (safety of probiotics) from 2002 to mid 2006, and from April 2007 to October 2011 as the project manager of the EU-ESAC project (antimicrobial consumption). From 2004 until 2009 she was also a teaching assistant and responsible for the practical courses in microbiology for students Biomedical Sciences and Medicine. She was also responsible for coordinating the theoretical courses in Microbiology for students Biomedical Sciences and theoretical courses in Micro-organisms and Infectious Diseases for Medicine students.

In 2009, Vanessa Vankerckhoven successfully defended her PhD in Medical Sciences entitled ‘Probiotics: Safety, immunomodulation and effects on the human gastro-intestinal flora’. Promotors were Prof Dr Herman Goossens (University of Antwerp, Belgium) and Prof Dr Emmanuel Wiertz (Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands) as well as Dr Geert Huys (Ghent University, Belgium) as co-promotor.

During her PhD, Vanessa Vankerckhoven conducted research stays at the University of Turku, Finland, at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and at the Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands for several months.
Vanessa Vankerckhoven is co-inventor on two patent applications, had published many scientific articles as author and co-author in international peer-reviewed journals and has written several book chapters. She presented scientific work at numerous international and national conferences.

Specialties: medical devices, infectious diseases, microbiology, vaccines, clinical trials, in vitro diagnostics, probiotics, antibiotics, gut microbiota, EU and national (IWT) project applications

    Patent applications:

    • Van Damme Pierre, Vankerckhoven Vanessa, Verwulgen Stijn, Scheelen Linda, Camerlynck Ruben, Coemans Wouter, Beyers Koen, Verleije Bart, Boudewijns Wim. Prefillable intradermal delivery device. PCT/EP2013/057990, BE 2013/0275, NL 2010649
    • Van Damme Pierre, Vorsters Alex, Vankerckhoven Vanessa, Verwulgen Stijn, Baelus Christiaan, Biekens Lara. Liquid sampler, kit of parts, and method for assembly. WO 2014/037151

    Major publications:

    • Vanessa Vankerckhoven and Pierre Van Damme. Clinical studies assessing immunogenicity and safety of intradermally administered influenza vaccines. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2010; 7(9):1109-25.
    • Liene Bervoets, Kim Van Hoorenbeeck, Ineke Kortleven, Caroline Van Noten, Niel Hens, Carl Vael, Herman Goossens, Kristine N Desager, Vanessa Vankerckhoven. Differences in gut microbiota composition between obese and lean children: a cross-sectional study. 2013; 5(1):10. DOI:10.1186/1757-4749-5-10 pp.10.
    • Niels Adriaenssens, Samuel Coenen, Ann Versporten, Arno Muller, Girma Minalu, Christel Faes, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Marc Aerts,  Niel Hens, Geert Molenberghs, Herman Goossens. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): Outpatient antibiotic use in Europe (1997-2009). J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Suppl. vi3-12.
    • Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Geert Huys, Marc Vancanneyt, Cindy Snauwaert, Jean Swings, Ingo Klare, Wolfgang Witte, Tim Van Autgaerden, Sabine Chapelle, Christine Lammens, and Herman Goossens. Genotypic Diversity, Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence Factors of Human Isolates and Probiotic Cultures Constituting Two Intraspecific Groups in Human and Probiotic Enterococcus faecium Strains. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2008; 74(14): 4247-4255.

    Full publication list:

    • Ann Versporten, Mike Sharland, Julia Bielicki, Nico Drapier, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Herman Goossens; ARPEC Project Group Members. The antibiotic resistance and prescribing in European Children project: a neonatal and pediatric antimicrobial web-based point prevalence survey in 73 hospitals worldwide. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2013 Jun;32(6):e242-53. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e318286c612
    • Liene Bervoets, Kim Van Hoorenbeeck, Ineke Kortleven, Caroline Van Noten, Niel Hens, Carl Vael, Herman Goossens, Kristine N Desager, Vanessa Vankerckhoven. Differences in gut microbiota composition between obese and lean children: a cross-sectional study. 2013; 5(1):10. DOI:10.1186/1757-4749-5-10 pp.10.
    • Peter Zarb, Brice Amadeo, Arno Muller, Nico Drapier, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Peter Davey, and Herman Goossens. Antifungal therapy in European Hospitals: data from the ESAC point-prevalence surveys 2008-2009. Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2012. DOI 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2012.03973.x
    • Katrien Latour, Boudewijn Catry, Ellen Broex, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Arno Muller, Rudi Stroobants, Herman Goossens, Béatrice Jans; On behalf of the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Project Group. Indications for antimicrobial prescribing in European nursing homes: results from a point prevalence survey. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2012 Jan 24. doi: 10.1002/pds.3196.
    • François Bourdichon, Serge Casaregola, Choreh Farrokh, Jens C. Frisvad, Monica L. Gerds, Walter P Hammes, James Harnett, Geert Huys, Svend Lauland, Arthur Ouwehand, Ian B Powell, Jashbhai B Prajapati, Yasayuki Seto, Eelko Ter Schure, Aart Van Boven, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Annabelle Zgoda, Sandra Tuijtelaars, Egon Bech Hansen. Food fermentations: Microorganisms with technological beneficial use. Int. J. of Food Microbiol. 2012 In press.
    • Peter Zarb, Brice Amadeo, Arno Muller, Nico Drapier, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Peter Davey, and Herman Goossens. Antimicrobial Prescribing in Hospitalized Adults stratified by Age: Data from the ESAC Point-Prevalence Surveys. Drugs Ageing 2012; 29(1): 53-62.
    • Ellen Broex, Boudewijn Catry, Katrien Latour, Karel Mertens, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Arno Muller, Rudi Stroobants, Peter Zarb, Herman Goossens, Beatrice Jans. Parenteral versus oral administration of systemic antimicrobials in european nursing homes: a point-prevalence survey. Drugs Ageing. 2011; 28(10): 809-818.
    • Niels Adriaenssens, Samuel Coenen, Ann Versporten, Arno Muller, Girma Minalu, Christel Faes, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Marc Aerts,  Niel Hens, Geert Molenberghs, Herman Goossens. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): Outpatient antibiotic use in Europe (1997-2009). J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Suppl. vi3-12.
    • Ann Versporten, Samuel Coenen, Niels Adriaenssens, Arno Muller, Girma Minalu, Christel Faes, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Marc Aerts,  Niel Hens, Geert Molenberghs, Herman Goossens on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): Outpatient penicillin use in Europe. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Suppl. vi13-24.
    • Ann Versporten, Samuel Coenen, Niels Adriaenssens, Arno Muller, Girma Minalu, Christel Faes, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Marc Aerts, Niel Hens, Geert Molenberghs, Herman Goossens on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): Outpatient cephalosporin use in Europe (1997-2009). J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Suppl. vi25-36.
    • Niels Adriaenssens, Samuel Coenen, Ann Versporten, Arno Muller, Girma Minalu, Christel Faes, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Marc Aerts,  Niel Hens, Geert Molenberghs, Herman Goossens on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): Outpatient macrolide, lincosamide and streptogramin (MLS) use in Europe (1997-2009). J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Suppl. vi37-46.
    • Niels Adriaenssens, Samuel Coenen, Ann Versporten, Arno Muller, Girma Minalu, Christel Faes, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Marc Aerts,  Niel Hens, Geert Molenberghs, Herman Goossens on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European surveillance of antimicrobial consumption (ESAC): Outpatient quinolone use in Europe (1997-2009). J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Suppl. vi46-56.
    • Samuel Coenen, Niels Adriaenssens,  Ann Versporten, Arno Muller, Girma Minalu, Christel Faes, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Marc Aerts, Niel Hens, Geert Molenberghs, Herman Goossens on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): Outpatient use of tetracyclines, sulfonamides and trimethoprim, and other antibacterials in Europe. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Suppl. vi57-70.
    • Niels Adriaenssens, Samuel Coenen, Ann Versporten, Arno Muller, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Herman Goossens on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): Quality appraisal of antibiotic use in Europe. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Suppl. vi70-78.
    • Niels Adriaenssens, Samuel Coenen, Alois Kroes, Ann Versporten, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Hege Salvesen-Blix, Herman Goossens on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption: systemic antiviral use in Europe. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2011; 66(8): 1897-1905.
    • Peter Zarb, Faranak Ansari, Arno Muller, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Peter Davey, Herman Goossens. Drug utilization 75% (DU75%) in 17 European hospitals (2000-2005): results from the ESAC-2 Hospital Care Sub Project. Curr. Clin. Pharmacol. 2011; 6(1): 62-70.
    • Peter Zarb, Brice Amadeo, Arno Muller, Nico Drapier, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Peter Davey, Herman Goossens, on behalf of the ESAC-3 hospital care subproject group. Identification of targets for quality improvement in antimicrobial prescribing: the web-based ESAC Point Prevalence Survey 2009. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2011; 66 (2): 443-449.
    • Vanessa Vankerckhoven and Pierre Van Damme. Clinical studies assessing immunogenicity and safety of intradermally administered influenza vaccines. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2010; 7(9):1109-25.
    • Brice Amadeo, Peter Zarb, Arno Muller, Nico Drapier, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Anne-Marie Rogues, Peter Davey, Herman Goossens; on behalf of the ESAC III Hospital Care Subproject Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC) point prevalence survey 2008: paediatric antimicrobial prescribing in 32 hospitals in 21 countries. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. Chemotherapy 2010; doi: 10.1093/jac/dkq309
    • Niels Adriaenssens; Samuel Coenen; Arno Muller; Vanessa Vankerckhoven; Herman Goossens; on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): outpatient systemic antimycotic and antifungal use in Europe. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2010; 65(4):769-74, doi: 10.1093/jac/dkq023
    • Samuel Coenen, Arno Muller, Erik Hendrickx, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Niels Adriaenssens, and Herman Goossens, on behalf of the ESAC Project Group. European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC): outpatient parenteral treatment in Europe. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2009; 64: 200-205
    • Rafael Frias, Arthur Ouwehand, Thomas Spillmann, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Marion Hewicker-Trautwein, Seppo Salminen, and Miguel Gueimonde. Effect of clinical and probiotic L. rhamnosus strains on intestinal permeability and bacterial translocation in healthy and colitic animals. Food Research International 2009; 42: 636-640.
    • Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Geert Huys, Marc Vancanneyt, Cindy Snauwaert, Jean Swings, Ingo Klare, Wolfgang Witte, Tim Van Autgaerden, Sabine Chapelle, Christine Lammens, and Herman Goossens. Genotypic Diversity, Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence Factors of Human Isolates and Probiotic Cultures Constituting Two Intraspecific Groups in Human and Probiotic Enterococcus faecium Strains. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2008; 74(14): 4247-4255.
    • Leon Worth, Monica Slavin, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Herman Goossens, Elisabeth Grabsch, Karin Thursky. Virulence determinants in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium: clonal distribution, prevalence & significance of esp and hyl in Australian patients with hematologic disorders. J. Hosp. Infect. 2008; 68(2): 137-44.
    • Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Geert Huys, Marc Vancanneyt, Carl Vael, Ingo Klare, Marie-Bénédicte Romond, José M. Entenza, Philippe Moreillon, Richèle D. Wind, Jan Knol, Emmanuel Wiertz, Bruno Pot, Elaine E. Vaughan, Gunnar Kahlmeter, and Herman Goossens. Biosafety assessment of probiotics used for human consumption: Recommendations from the EU-PROSAFE project. Trends in Food Science and Technology 2008 19(2): 102-114. Doi: 10.1016/j.tifs.2007.07.013.
    • Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Philippe Moreillon, Stephane Piu, Marlyse Giddey, Geert Huys, Marc Vancanneyt, Herman Goossens, and José M. Entenza. Infectivity of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus paracasei isolates in a Rat Model of Experimental Endocarditis. J. Med. Microbiol. 2007; 56 (pt8): 1017-24.
    • Ingo Klare, Carola Konstabel, Guido Werner, Geert Huys, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Bianca Hildebrandt, Sibylle Müller-Bertling, Wolfgang Witte, and Herman Goossens. Antibiotic susceptibilities of Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and Lactococcus species including strains used as probiotics and starter cultures. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2007; 59(5): 900-12.
    • Satu Vesterlund, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Maija Saxelin, Herman Goossens, Seppo Salminen, and Arthur Ouwehand. Safety Assessment of Lactobacillus Strains: Presence of Putative Risk Factors in Faecal, Blood and Probiotic Isolates. J. Food Microbiol. 2007; 116(3): 325-31.
    • Ariane Deplano, Olivier Denis, Claire Nonhoff, Francis Rost, Baudouin Byl, Frederic Jacobs, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Herman Goossens, Marc Struelens. Outbreak of hyper-pathogenic clonally related complex-17 vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium in an haematological unit: role of rapid typing. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2007; 60(4):849-54. Doi: 10.0193/jac/dkm270.
    • Marc Vancanneyt, Geert Huys, Karen Lefebvre, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Herman Goossens, and Jean Swings. Intraspecific genotypic characterization of Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains intended for probiotic use and isolates from human clinical and non-clinical origin. Appl. Environm. Microbiol. 2006; 72(8): 5376-5383.
    • Geert Huys, Marc Vancanneyt, Klaas D’Haene, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Herman Goossens, and Jean Swings. Accuracy of the species identity of commercial bacterial cultures intended for probiotic or nutritional use. Res. Microbiol. 2006, 157(9): 803-810.
    • Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Tim Van Autgaerden, Carl Vael, Christine Lammens, Sabine Chapelle, Rosaria Rossi, Daniela Jabes and Herman Goossens. Development of a Multiplex PCR for the Detection of asa1, gelE, cylA, esp and hyl genes in Enterococci and Survey of Virulence Determinants among European Hospital Isolates of Enterococcus faecium. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2004; 42(10): 4473-4479.
    • Vanessa V. Vankerckhoven, Tim Van Autgaerden, Geert Huys, Marc Vancanneyt, Jean Swings and Herman Goossens. Establishment of the PROSAFE Collection of Probiotic and Human Lactic Acid Bacteria. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 2004; 16 (2-3): 131-136.