Instructors | Postgraduate Poultry Health Sciences

Courses are taught by Ghent University associated instructors, complemented with experts from the poultry industry.


Gunther Antonissen is appointed as chairholder of the Chair Poultry Health Sciences at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. His research focusses on multiple aspects of poultry health sciences such as mycotoxins, feed additives, intestinal and renal physiology, and intestinal infectious diseases. He is a well-known invited speaker at international events. Gunther Antonissen is the initiator and coordinator of the Postgraduate in Poultry Health Sciences. The Chair Poultry Health Sciences has been jointly established by Ghent University and two Flemish companies Vetworks and Poulpharm, offering an unique opportunity to build bridges between fundamental and applied research, education and the poultry sector.


Filip Van Immerseel is full professor and heading the Poultry Gut Health Group at the Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University.

He is globally recognized for his work on intestinal microbiota-host interactions in poultry, with more than 200 papers, a dozen of patents on gut health solutions, and multiple out-licenced products on the market. He is a well-known invited speaker at conferences, editor of Avian Pathology, and recognized for the numerous research projects with fundamental scientific and industrial relevance.


Siska Croubels is full professor at UGent and director of the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Biochemistry of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Her research focuses on in vivo ADME processes (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion), residues and safety of drugs and mycotoxins in several animal species. Her laboratory is recognized for the analysis of small molecules in biological, food, feed and environmental matrices, using state-of-the-art UHPLC-MS/MS instruments. She authored over 260 A1-publications and book chapters, and promoted 24 doctoral theses.


Maarten De Gussem is founder and Poultry Consultant of Vetworks: servicing the poultry industry with a global team of specialists and providing support on poultry health topics all over the world, with focus on mycoplasmosis, general gut health and coccidiosis.

Besides his work at Vetworks, Maarten is academic adviser at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University and a member of scientific committees of Poultry Mycoplasma Conference and of IHSIG Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health.

Maarten De Gussem is also author of Broiler Signals, a leading broiler management book in more than 12 languages.


Hilde Van Meirhaeghe is Poultry Consultant for Vetworks, a group of poultry veterinarians giving technical support in poultry health worldwide for integrations and the pharmaceutical industry. She is Academic adviser and teaching poultry parasitology at the Ghent University, also involved in education programs and hands-on training for poultry professionals in EU Africa, Asia, Latin America.

Hilde Van Meirhaeghe contributed to several research projects on hygiene, food safety and disease control, recently in the European Commission funded EFFORT (reduction of antimicrobial resistance in poultry) and a project on defining innovative tools to assess gut health issues in poultry.


Ward De Spiegelaere is professor in integrative Morphology at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Ghent University. He teaches anatomy of exotic pets an comparative anatomy of laboratory animals. His research focuses on the role of macrophages in angiogenesis using the chicken embryo as a model system.


Pieter Cornillie is associate professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University. He is responsible for education and research in veterinary anatomy and embryology.
His research focuses on the developmental vascular anatomy and angioarchitecture, including fine cardiac anatomy and its conductive system, mainly in the equine heart. Apart from the typical domestic animal species, also the cardiovascular system of large cetaceans is targeted. His second major research topic is age estimation in domestic animals and wildlife, based on anatomical characteristics.


Bert Devriendt is assistant professor at Ghent University, at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the Laboratory of Immunology.

His research investigates host-pathogen interactions in livestock species, with a focus on enteropathogens and the gut immune system, as well as how the obtained knowledge might inform on the development of novel oral vaccines. He authored over 50 scientific publications and book chapters.


Richard Ducatelle is professor in veterinary pathology at Ghent University since 1992. His research interest is gut health in animals, with emphasis on poultry. He is diplomate of the European College of Poultry Veterinary Science since 2014 and coordinator of a residents training center of the European College of Poultry Veterinary Science since 2016. He is president of the Belgian branch of the World Veterinary Poultry Association since 1992. He has published more than 600 papers in peer reviewed international scientific journals. He was an invited speaker at more than 80 national and international congresses and symposia.


Jeroen Dewulf is a full professor in Veterinary Epidemiology. His research focus on prevention of endemic and epidemic diseases through biosecurity biosecurity measures and animal health aspects that may influence public health such as antimicrobial use and resistance in animals as well as zoonotic infections. He is member of the scientific committee of the Belgian federal food Agency and is the founder and chair of board of the center of expertise on antimicrobial use and resistance in animals (AMCRA) in Belgium.


Dominiek Maes (DM) is full professor and head of the Unit of Porcine Health Management at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University Belgium. He teaches swine health and production, animal housing and veterinary public health. His main research areas focus on infectious disease in swine (mainly respiratory disease), reproduction and production. DM has published over 300 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, supervised 35 PhDs, and made more than 600 contributions to national and international conferences. He is section editor of the journal Livestock Science since 2012.


Veterinarian Mathias Devreese is associate professor of veterinary pharmacology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. He is an EBVS™ European Specialist in Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology (ECVPT Diplomat) and fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (AAVPT) and the European Association for Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology (EAVPT). His research focusses on pharmacological aspects of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial posology as well as the ontogeny of physiological processes to aid preclinical research.


Miel Hostens is assistant professor at the department of Farm Animal Health at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht. His research and services focusses on herd health management in relation to big data in dairy management.


An Garmyn is an assistant professor in Poultry and Companion birds and heads the Necropsy Division for the Clinic of Poultry and Exotic Animals at the Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, at Ghent University. She has 14 year of expertise in avian pathology, veterinary microbiology, in vivo infection modelling in poultry and poultry management. Research emphasis is on host-pathogen interaction and development of mitigation, situated in the field of bacterial infections in poultry (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Brachyspira, E. coli, Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale, Clostridium, Mycoplasma,…).


Venessa Eeckhaut is postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University, department of Bacteriology, Pathology and Avian diseases at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She is mainly known for her work on strictly anaerobic butyrate producers with focus on their potential as next generation probiotics.


Evy Goossens works as a post-doctoral researcher at Ghent University, focusing on gut health in livestock production. Her interests centre on host-pathogen and host-microbiome interactions, and how these influence health and disease. Methods employed reach from anaerobic microbiology to microbial engineering, NGS sequencing (microbiome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNAseq), bioinformatics and measurements of host-pathogen interactions.


Siegrid De Baere is Laboratory Advisor at the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology. She is involved in the performance of pharmacokinetic, bioavailability, bioanalysis, residue and safety studies according to GLP principles and in different research projects in the field of veterinary pharmacology and toxicology. She has over 20 years of experience in the development and validation of analytical methodologies for the detection and quantification of xenobiotics (drugs, mycotoxins and their metabolites) and endogenous compounds in different biological matrices of animal origin, using liquid chromatography mass spectrometric techniques.


Frank Tuyttens is head of the Farm Animal Welfare & Behaviour research group of the Flemish Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO, Belgium). His research focusses on assessing, monitoring and improving the welfare of livestock. He is chair of the ILVO Ethical Commission for animal experiments and member of the steering group of the Flemish Council for Animal Welfare. He is visiting professor of farm animal welfare & ethology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University.


Lynn Vanhaecke is Associate Professor and head of the Lab of Chemical Analysis at the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety at Ghent University and holds a 20% appointment at the Institute of Global Food Security at QUB. The chemical analyses of food, biofluids and environmental matrices, the metabolism and biological activity of food and contaminants, and the holistic analysis of small molecules through metabolomics and lipidomics using advanced high-resolution mass spectrometry in relation to human and animal health belong to her major research objectives.


Kurt Houf is veterinarian and associate professor at the department of veterinary public health and food safety, Ghent University, and visiting professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He is also a diplomate at the European college of Veterinary Pubic health. Since 1996, he works on the isolation, identification and characterization of foodborne bacteria in the food chain, with a focus on poultry products. Current research is on the impact of the microbiota on the safety of food of animal origin, including the role of  production areas as slaughterhouses, cutting and processing plants and at retail.