The Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy is committed to a professional world where science is promoted. The UZ Brussel, the faculty and Erasmus College work closely together.

The UMC Fellows are known for their professionalism in the healthcare sector. This gives VUB a platform of prominent members in the academic, medical and civil world. Each Fellow is chosen on the basis of important qualities such as leadership, excellence in education and grounded research.



Faculty Fellowship Coordinator
Michel Deneyer


  • CEO Zorgnet-ICURO

Margot Cloet is a pedagogue and started her career in youth care, first as supervisor and then as co-founder and director of the non-profit Minor Ndako. Then she was an advisor to public health and welfare minister Steven Vanackere and spokesperson for his successor, Veerle Heeren. In 2010 she became deputy head of cabinet, then head of cabinet of Flemish minister for welfare, public health and family Jo Vandeurzen. From that position, she built a thorough understanding of the health and welfare landscape in Flanders and negotiated with the various policy levels. She has also contributed to the implementation of the sixth State reform, which has major implications for care and welfare. She was appointed managing director of Zorgnet-Icuro in 2017.

  • Government Commissioner COVID-19 at Belgian Federal Government

From 2002 to 2005, Pedro Facon was a scientific researcher, teacher and trainer at the Public Management Institute at KU Leuven. From 2005, he was an advisor for the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance with regard to strategy, organizational development and internal audit. In October 2014, he was appointed chief of staff for healthcare for the federal public health and social security minister Maggie De Block. In February 2017, he was appointed director-general healthcare at the Belgian Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment.

  • Managing Director of BIO Clustermanagement NRW GmbH

Bernward Garthoff is the biotechnology representative of the biotech cluster BIO.NRW for North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He studied veterinary medicine at Hannover University and joined Bayer AG in 1976. He held a variety of major positions in research and development in the Pharmaceuticals business group, in Germany and in the US, in particular concerning the cardiovascular and biotechnology area. In 1994, he joined the top management of Bayer’s Crop Protection business group. He has been chair of the German Association of Biotechnology Industries, as well as a member of the private sector committee of CGIAR (World Bank) and a member of the EuropaBio board, and chair of the AgriFood Council of EuropaBio.

  • Doctor of Medicine

Martine Huybrechts obtained the degree of doctor of medicine, surgery and obstetrics in 1983 at VUB, and set up a general practice in Wemmel in the same year. She is one of the leading general practitioners in the area and has served various functions, including presidency, at the local association of GPs. She also trains GPs-in-training, linked to her Alma Mater. She is married to Dr Karl von Kemp, MD VUB 1983, who is a cardiologist in Wemmel and at the Centre for Heart and Vessel Disease at UZ Brussel.


  • Managing Director on duty at AUVIBEL
Annemie Maes studied archaeology and art history at KU Leuven. She has worked for over 10 years in the authors right organization Auvibel and Reprobel. She was management assistant for the distribution of private copy rights (authors, artists and editors) and then head of department distribution of reprographic rights of the right holders (authors and publishers).
From 2009 till 2019 she was member of the Brussels Parliament for the Flemish Green party including 3 years as a senator. Her political interests include environment, air quality, waste management, animal welfare, mobility, cycling infrastructure, art and culture, security and police affairs. She is a honorary member of the Brussels Parliament since 2019. Recently she became managing director at Auvibel.

  • General director and board member Itinera

Leo Neels has been the CEO of Itinera since 2014 and was a professor in media and communications law at the Universities of Leuven and Antwerp. He was chair of the board of directors of Belga News Agency from 1994 until 2014. Leo Neels worked as a lawyer from 1975 until 1990 and from 1994 until 2002, and most recently as a partner at Allen & Overy. He was director-general at broadcaster VTM from 1989 to 1993. In 2003 he became general director of pharma.be till 2013. He has been chair of the advisory board of Vlerick Healthcare Management Centre of Vlerick Business School since 2013.

  • General Manager Crossroads Bank for social security

Frank Robben studied law and ICT at KU Leuven and graduated in 1984. He specialized in legal informatics and social security during his study at K.U. Leuven and afterwards at the University of Tübingen and the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Münich. He attended Postgraduate programs in computer auditing at IPO Antwerpen (1987), in business administration at K.U. Leuven (1991-92) and in personal coaching at Quintessence (2010-11). Since 1985, Frank is a continuous driving force behind administrative simplification, process optimization and computerization in the Belgian social, health care and public sector. Frank thereby pays particular attention to the implementation of security by design and privacy by design principles. Since 1991, Frank is CEO of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security, and since 2008 CEO of the eHealth-platform, two institutions he conceived and founded. They respectively elaborate and implement the eGovernment strategy in the social sector and the eHealth strategy. Since 2004, Frank is also CEO of Smals, the most important (not-for-profit) ICT-service provider in the Belgian social security and public health sector. Frank is a strong proponent and advocate of the free reuse of ICT services and components, and the development of an API-economy. He initiated the eID card and the G-Cloud.

  • Vice-chair, Secretary, High Council of Doctors, FPS Health

Doctor and lawyer Patrick Waterbley enjoyed a multifaceted academic training with a master’s in healthcare and business at KU Leuven. At VUB he obtained a master’s in law. Since 1985 he has had a flourishing career in the care sector. He is currently vice-chair and secretary of the High Council of Doctors, Specialists and GPs at the FPS Health. Medical law is more than ever in development, and thanks to the Fellowship of Patrick Waterbley, VUB can keep up with this evolution.

The Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy has started a new master after master degree for specialist medicine, for which the legal and strategic assistance of an expert is very welcome. Patrick Waterbley is known for the encyclopaedic knowledge he has built up within the FPS Public Health and this will strengthen the development of the degree.

  • General Manager at APB

Luc Adriaenssens is the current General Manager of APB. After his Pharmacy and MBA studies, he acquired large management experience in service industries (Spector and Securitas) during 25 years. At APB he is leading several projects sustaining the new role of the public pharmacist in the evolving health care environment. He is teaching VUB students a course on management in pharmacies, promoting entrepreneurship associated with scientific skills.

  • Chairperson of the General Management committee of National Institute of Health and Disability Insurance

Mrs Avontroodt obtained her degree as Doctor in Medicine at the University of Ghent in 1975, a degree in Occupational Medicine in 1978 at the KU Leuven and a degree in Health Care Economics at the University of Antwerp in 1995. Next to her medical career from 1975 until 1990, she was also a member of the Federal Parliament (1999-2010), president of the Public Health Committee, Mayor of Schilde and Councillor for the province of Antwerp. She is the chairperson of the General Management committee of National Institute of Health and Disability Insurance since 2004 and a member of the board of UZ Brussels.

  • Dean Faculty of Science Radboud University Nijmegen

Lutgarde Buydens graduated with honours as Master of Science in Pharmacy, with an additional major in Informatics, from VUB. In 1989, she became an associate professor for the Faculty of Science at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen and a full professor in 1995. She has published more than 250 academic articles and almost 300 conference papers. In recent years, she has integrated concepts and methods from disciplines such as statistics, computer science, artificial intelligence, datamining and chemical knowledge for data analysis in areas including environmental contamination, food research and brain tumour diagnostics. In 2016, she became dean of the Faculty of Science at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Since 2010, she has been a member of the board of the research institute TI-COAST.

  • Secretary-general National Union Socialist Mutualities

Paul holds a master in social and political sciences, specialized in social security and organization technologies from the university of Antwerp. He combined both fields of expertise in his first job at NUSM as IT project leader healthcare, where he became the vice director of the IT department. He developed the ‘social franchise’, the predecessor of the ‘maximumfactuur’, which is considered as one of the most important, effective and efficient social protection measures in healthcare insurance. At the same time he guided the mutualities in the electronic network of social security. From 2000 until 2011 he was head of a local mutuality. Since 2012 he is secretary-general. He defends the rights of patients and protects their access to qualitative healthcare and health.

  • Member of Parliament Open VLD

Maggie De Block obtained the degree of Doctor in Medicine in 1988 at the VUB. She practised family medicine from 1988 until 2011, before becoming the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Social Integration and Poverty. Her goal was to implement a humane and correct policy and to help as many people as possible out of poverty, despite the current economic crisis.Between 1999 and 2011 Mrs De Block was also elected in the Federal Chamber of Representatives. During that period she was the Chairperson of the Infrastructure commission (2010-2011), Vice-President of the Social Affairs commission and Secretary of the Chamber of Representatives (2003-2007). She was vice-president of Open VLD from 2012 till 2020. She started as Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health end 2012, and became also responsible for Asylum and Migration from December 2018 until October 2020.

  • CEO of the National Institute of Health and Disability Insurance

Jo De Cock is CEO of the National Institute of Health and Disability Insurance (NIHDI) since 1995. He has obtained a master of law and a master of criminology from the KU Leuven, where he started his professional experience as a research assistant on the Institute of Social Security on the Faculty of Law in 1977. He continued his career by joining the Center for political, economic and social studies where he was researcher and political advisor. From the mid-eighties until the beginning of the nineties he worked as a deputy director and counselor of social affairs in the office of the Belgian Prime Minister. He filled the position of adjunct general administrator of the National Social Security Office from 1993 to 1995.

  • Managing director Zorgnet Icuro

Peter Degadt was legal advisor at the National Secretariat for Catholic Education in 1980 and to the Ministers Gaston Geens and Daniel Coens from 1981 to 1985. He had various political positions till 1992. He then started as Chief of Staff to Minister Wivina Demeester and later as HR Director at  University Hospital Leuven. He was General Manager at AZ Sint-Lucas in Ghent from 1996 to 2007. In addition, he serves in numerous boards and agencies that influence policies in healthcare in Flanders and Belgium. He is member of the Council General of Riziv and until 2012 het was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the AZ. St. Elisabeth in Zottegem. He currently serves as Chirman of The Board of the Hospitals AZ Damiaan Ostend and H.H. Lier. He is a guest lecturer at the Catholic University of Leuven.

  • Journalist Humo 

Yves Desmet studied Latin Sciences at the Royal Atheneum I Pitzemburg in Mechelen and studied communication sciences at the VUB. In October 1994 he became editor-in-chief of De Morgen. He became political editor in chief en since 2016 he started as journalist at Humo. He became known to the broad public with a television program “Polspoel and Desmet” in which he debated with Belgian politicians.

  • General Administrator at Agency for Care and Health (Flanders)

Dirk Dewolf obtained the degree of doctor in medicine and of occupational medicine at the KULeuven in 2013. He also studied at the l Institute for Tropical Medicine Antwerp.  He was Deputy-Head of the Cabinet of Ministers Jo Vandeurzen and Steven Vanackere. He was also a former CD&V alderman in Overijse, and head of the Department of health promotion. He became the General Administrator of the Flemish Agency for Care and Health in 2014.

  • Head Neuroscience Systems Biology - Janssen Pharmaceutica Research & Development

Pim Drinkenburg gained his PhD in Comparative and Physiological Psychology from Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. He has held an academic position at the same institute, a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Neurology and Psychiatry in Budapest, a postdoctoral fellowship at the MRC Neurochemical Pathology in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a honorary lectureship at Newcastle University. He became head of the behavioural pharmacology and EEG group at Organon Laboratories in the UK and now works at Janssen Pharmaceutica in Beerse. He has published more than 100 scientific papers in international journals and holds various patents. He received the prestigious J&J Hofmann Award for outstanding scientific contributions to drug discovery and development and the SPARK Innovation Award.

  • Senior Director Ethics and Compliance Europe, Canada and Australia at Eli Lilly

After her studies, Patricia Lanssiers obtained a master in Pharmacy at the ULB after which she  immediately started a very successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. She was at Sandoz from 1984 till 1997 and then at Novartis till 2000, where she gained expertise in various operational units including marketing, regulatory, quality control and in the medical department. In december 2000, she joined Eli Lilly as Corporate Affairs Director for the Belgian branch, and held several key positions at Eli Lilly later on, both in Belgium and Europe. She is a member of the board at the Institute for tropical Medicine and United Fund for Belgium. She was appointed General Director of GIBBIS January 2019.

  • Director at the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE)

Raf Mertens worked as a doctor in Kivu (DRC) for four years. Later he worked, from 1985 to 1997, for the Scientific Institute of Public Health, where he was in charge for the national programme for the registration of hospital infections. He also coordinated the European HELICS programme which harmonised the registration networks of hospital infections. In 1997 he started working at the Landsbond der Christelijke Mutualiteiten, where he was responsible for healthcare data, and for the development of programmes for quality promotion with hospitals. In 2006 he became head of the department Research and Development of the Christelijke Mutualiteit. In 2009 he was appointed General Director of KCE, the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre, which advises policy makers in the domains of healthcare and health insurance.

  • Secretary-general department of Welfare, Public Health and Family Flanders

Karine Moykens obtained a Master’s in Classical Philosophy and Languages at Ghent University. She began her political career as head of cabinet of Flanders’ ministry of welfare, public health and family from 2004 to 2013. In 2014, she was appointed secretary-general of the department. She is also socially engaged in numerous organisations: as a member of the national board of the Red Cross Flanders, managing director of Vlaams Agentschap voor Samenwerking rond Gegevensdeling tussen de Actoren in de Zorg, and vice-president of MOVI, a
voluntary network of civil servants in Flanders. In 2020 she was elected Civil Servant Government manager of the year.

  • President of Maastricht University

Martin Paul graduated in 1986 from medical school at the University of Heidelberg. He became research fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Harvard University and Brigham & Women’s hospital in Boston. In 1990 he started as lecturer in Pharmacology at Heidelberg University followed by research group leader at Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch in 1994. In 1995 he started as full Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the Benjamin Franklin Medical Center of the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin. He also was director of the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the FU. After his career at the Medical Faculty of the FU and Medical Faculty of the Charité Medical Center in Berlin, the joint medical school of the Freie Universität and Humboldt University in Berlin he started as Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences of Maastricht University. He is since May 2011 the president of the Executive Board of Maastricht University.

  • Owner PraktijkCoach

Johan Uvin is the owner of PraktijkCoach since June 2004. He used to be the Account Manager of Microsystems Belgium from 2002 till 2004. Back then, he was responsible for several federal Belgian authorities and the authorities of the Flemish government. He then became the Account Manager of UTIMACO and was responsible for the European Commision and the European Council. Then he became Sales Manager Healthcare and Pharma at RealSoftware. In 1998 he started as Account Manager at Shared Medical Systems. Now he is the owner of the consultancy office PraktijkCoach.

  • Director Vivel

Caroline Verlinde graduated as MD at KU Leuven and established herself as a family physician in Oudergem. She is very involved in supporting primary healthcare and was health coordinator for the Flemish Community in Brussels from 2006 to 2009. She was also a member of the operational team Zorgnet and former vice-chairperson of Brusselse HuisartsenKring and Deputy Director of Health at the Flemish Department of Welfare, Public Health and Family. Since 2019 she is director at Vivel.

  • Director Vlaams Patiëntenplatform vzw

Ilse Weeghmans is the director of the Flemish Patients Platform since August 2002. She graduated in 1999 at the Leuven University College as Bachelor of Social Work. In 2002, she obtained a Master's degree in Political Science, Public Management at the KULeuven and followed an Erasmus exchange programme in 2001 in Leiden, the Netherlands. She also obtained a Postgraduate Consultation Process Leadership and Organizational Development and followed a coaching program at the Center for Self-Management of the KHL.