is a Belgian research institution and stands at the intersection of science and health. It focuses in particular on the close and indissoluble interconnection between human and animal health as well as their environment.
Sciensano is the result of the merger of two sister institutions, the ISP (Scientific Institute of Public Health) founded in 1904, and the CERVA (Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre), officially established in 1997 but its institutions have existed since the early 1900s.
Given their complementary activities, the merger between the ISP and the CERVA in 2018 has allowed for a streamlining of their human and material resources while offering a global response to the health challenges posed by today’s society. Sciensano is based on the ‘One Health’ concept whereby human health, animal health, and environmental management are intrinsically linked. Sciensano seeks to decipher the mechanisms governing interactions between humans, animals, and the environment to prevent, assess and minimise threats to public health. Its expertise is put at the service of a single credo: healthy all life long.
Sciensano performs public and animal health assignments at 5 levels: federal, regional, community level, European, and international level. Sciensano is recognized as a research institution by the Belgian Science Policy and has a leading scientific role in the evaluation of the safety and risk assessment of public health.
holds a PhD in Biological Applied Sciences from Ghent University and is currently a Senior Research Scientist at Sciensano, where she tries to estimate and understand our exposure to various contaminants and food additives via our diet. She does so in the framework of research studies supporting Belgian Policy by providing scientific results for a better risk assessment. Developing high-quality protocols for exposure assessment, starting from a representative sampling plan strategy, the modeling of occurrence data, combining it with data from food consumption databases and putting attention to the inclusion of various sources of uncertainty are essential segments of her current work.
She coordinated the Belgian National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for marine toxins and the development of analytical methods for marine toxins, having become an expert in analytical methods for determining bacterial and marine toxins in food. As head of service she supervised activities related to establishing quality standards and the implementation of EU legislation. Mirjana offers more than 15 years of experience researching food safety and is an expert in the Belgian Superior Health Council (permanent working group on food and health, including food safety). Additionally, she serves as an expert in ad-hoc working groups organized by the Food Safety Authority in Belgium.