THE IMPTOX TEAM

UGent

Universiteit Gent

Gent, Belgium

UGent is one of the largest Flemish universities with a yearly revenue of more than € 400 million. It hosts 41,000 students and 9,000 staff members and ranks 5th for the subject area Plant and Animal Sciences in the US News ranking of global universities. For Food Sciences Ghent University is ranked 6th and in Europe UGent is number two by Shanghai ranking. The Faculty of Bioscience Engineering (FBE) in particular educates 2,800 students of which 700 are internationals in doctoral and other graduate programmes. The faculty belongs to the European top 5 of life science research institutions and its numerous research staff publishes approximately 700 A1 publications per year. The faculty focuses strongly on cooperation with both national and international industrial partners, NGOs and governments. When it comes to international research cooperation, FBE allies with partners in both the global North and South.

FBE will contribute with two main research pillars to the Imptox project: Food and Health and Environmental Technology. Each one of those is equipped with high performing knowledge transfer centres embedded in the faculty.

Prof. Andreja Rajkovic

is an Imptox Principal Investigator (PI) at Ghent University who graduated from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture in 2001. Following his Master’s and PhD in microbial food safety and molecular-immunological methods at Ghent University, he stayed on at that institution as a principal investigator in several EU and national projects. He has twice been awarded the Flemish Research Foundation postdoctoral grant and in 2015 he has been appointed full-time research professor at Ghent University, where he leads the research group on microbial toxins and virulence within the Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health. Previously, from 2010-2015 he chaired the Department of Food Safety and Food Quality Management at the University of Belgrade-Faculty of Agriculture where he still guides PhD and MSc students. His current research interests include the cyantoxins in food and water supplies, toxicity of mixtures to which humans are exposed through food and environment, toxicity and risk assessment of mycotoxins and inactivation strategies in pre- and post-harvest or the use of modern food processing technologies and their impact on microbial pathogens and their toxins.  He is editorial board member of a variety of international journals and a founding editor in chief of the International Journal of Food Contamination. He is executive board member of The International Committee on Food Microbiology and Hygiene. For more information on his publications please visit: https://biblio.ugent.be/person/801001689372

Prof. Sam Van Haute

received his MSc in industrial engineering (biochemistry) from Ghent University in 2010, where he also carried out his PhD research on “the use of water disinfection strategies in agricultural practices” and finalized it in 2014. As a postdoctoral fellow at the same university, he tried to understand “the use of essential oils in marinades for improving the microbial safety and shelf-life of meat and fish products”. In 2016 he left Belgium to take on the position as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland (USA), Department of Nutrition and Food Science, where he worked on the “validation of chlorine level in sanitization systems to avoid cross-contamination.” From 2017 till 2019 he worked at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a postdoctoral fellow, in the Food Quality Lab and Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Lab (at the Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville), where he was involved in several projects related to the quality and safety of fresh produce. Since 2019, Sam Van Haute is Professor of Food Technology at Ghent University Global Campus (GUGC). He is associated with the Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Environmental Technology, and Food Technology (in Incheon Korea), and the Department of Food Safety and Food Quality.