A Date With Science:  Emerging viral diseases – a perpetual and growing threat for global health
25/01 - 30/11/2024

We are inviting you for the next edition of ITM’s ‘A Date with Science’: a series of academic seminars that take place every last Thursday of the month, live in Antwerp (followed by a drink) and online.

Feel free to share this link with anyone that might be interested: https://www.itg.be/en/events/a-date-with-science-emerging-viral-diseases-a-perpetual-and-growing-threat-for-global-health


  • 3pm – 4pm: Academic seminar in aula Janssens (and online)
  • 4pm – 5.30pm: Drink in Karibu at ITM

Speaker: Kevin Ariën

Title: Emerging viral diseases – a perpetual and growing threat for global health


All over the world infectious diseases, and especially viruses, are emerging or re-emerging at an increasing rate, as a result of urbanisation, increased travel, intensive agriculture and climate change leading to biodiversity loss. In this seminar, I will focus on the growing threat of arthropod-borne (arbo) viruses and discuss how we address the need to better understand how these viruses cycle between mammalian hosts and insect vectors as a basis for novel antiviral strategies. Next, I will discuss our efforts on developing next-generation tools to support diagnosis, surveillance and pathogen characterization, with a particular focus on applications fit for outbreak and LMIC contexts.    


Please register to attend in person or to follow online

Short Bio:

Kevin Ariën obtained his PhD (2005) from the University of Antwerp and the Institute of Tropical Medicine for his work on HIV replicative fitness. He then continued with postdoctoral work on HIV fitness and drug resistance at Virco-Tibotec (2005-2006), on HIV Nef interactors at Ghent University (2006-2009) and on biomedical prevention strategies for HIV at ITM (2009-2014). Kevin became head of ITM’s Virology Unit in 2014, gradually changing the direction of research from HIV to emerging viruses, with a particular interest in arthropod-borne viruses and hemorrhagic fever viruses. The Units’ current research efforts are on new diagnostic approaches for (re)emerging viruses, on virus-host-vector interactions, on prognostic biomarkers for dengue disease severity and on understanding sylvatic reservoirs of arboviruses. Kevin also heads the department of Biomedical Sciences (since 2022) and holds a partial professorship at the University of Antwerp (since 2019).