Jef Hooyberghs

Jef Hooyberghs

Jef Hooyberghs

Research Leader - vito

Jef Hooyberghs received a master and a PhD in science, physics at the KU Leuven and UHasselt. He was a KU Leuven postdoc studying complex systems, a scientific branch which drove him into life sciences and which remained an inspiration throughout his career. In 2003 he started at VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) as a data scientist applying artificial intelligence in predictive modelling. Since 2006 he is part time professor at UHasselt, a connection which recently translated into a strategic collaboration between the two institutes. At VITO he was head the of the research department Applied Biomolecular Systems from 2012. It included scientific strategic planning, gradually shifting the application domain from toxicology to diagnostics and building a technology- and data science focused research team. In 2017 he initiated the corporate Data Science initiative at VITO which went operational in 2018. Currently he is research coordinator of the Sustainable Health unit.


Jef Hooyberghs will give a presentation in the session "Future platforms to DISCOVER":


"Applied research @VITO for sustainable healthcare"
Health is high on the agenda of the civil society, the industry, the scientific community, and policy makers. There is a global understanding that a transition in healthcare is needed in order to assure an affordable, accessible, and high-quality system. Key in this process is the shift from ‘disease-care’ towards a true ‘health-care’. Through its ambition to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable society, VITO has focussed its health research on this anticipated shift via a systems approach.

This strategy includes the collection of diverse and meaningful longitudinal data on individuals to define systemically health and disease. It involves analysis and integration of multi-level data, from genetic up to environmental factors, to actionable preventive feedback to the participants.

The role of the individual and the care for its personal data is crucial in this approach. We claim that the European regulation, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), will play in our advantage to achieve the transition as a society.

In this presentation we will explain our approach and express our enthusiasm to contribute and connect to the vibrant health ecosystem of Flanders.

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