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Ghent University awards the Francqui Chair to professor Thierry VandenDriessche. The inaugural lecture, to be held on February 14th, is titled: ‘Changing the face of modern medicine: gene therapy and gene editing.
About Thierry VandenDriessche
Professor VandenDriessche is director of the research group Gene therapy and Regenerative Medicine and teaches at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is also part-time professor at the Medical Faculty of KU Leuven.
VandenDriessche has dedicated his academic career to gene therapy, more specifically to its technological advances and gene editing for hereditary diseases and cancer. In gene editing certain defects in genes are replaced by healthy elements.
Together with his research team he has been able to realise a number of breakthroughs in the field and he is recognised internationally. Among others he received the Outstanding Achievement Award of the European Society of Gene & Cell Therapy in 2012, the 2016 Henri Chaigneau Career Award of the French Haemophilia Society and multiple awards from the Royal Academy for Medicine of Belgium.
The Francqui foundation awards a number of academic chairs each year, always on recommendation of one of the Belgian universities. Within the framework of the Francqui Chair a university can invite a professor of another (Belgian or international) institution for a series of lectures, all based on original research and which form an addition to the classes organised by the host institution - in this case Ghent University. The titular of the chair partakes actively in the academic life of the universities that invited him or her for a period of time.
The formal awarding of this Francqui Chair, followed by the inaugural address will take place on Tuesday, February 14th at 5pm in Het Pand, the Culture and Conference center of Ghent University, Onderbergen 1, 9000 Gent.
Following the inaugural address professor VandenDriessche will hold another seven lectures on gene therapy. These classes will all take place between February 22nd and April 26th, always on a Wednesday afternoon. More details can be found on: http://www.vub.ac.be/events/2017/francqui-chair-2016-2017-inaugural-lecture-prof-dr-thierry-vandendriessche.