VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology

Science Director: Kevin Verstrepen

Our mission

The KU Leuven - VIB Center for Microbiology aims to be a global leader in the broad field of microbiology.  Our goal is 1) to contribute to a better understanding of microbial physiology, genetics, evolution and ecology, for both benign and pathogenic microbes, 2) to use microbes as models to unravel general biological mechanisms and systems, and 3) to pursue industrial and clinical applications of microbes, microbial communities and microbial products (including novel antibiotics, probiotics and the development of superior industrial microbes).

Micro-organisms are an important model system for cells in higher organisms, and many of life’s basic mechanisms have been first discovered in micro-organisms. At the same time, these microbes can make us sick, and despite the evolution of antibiotics, more research is needed to control infectious diseases. Micro-organisms can also be beneficial: intestinal microbes, for example, are essential for the digestion of food and play a crucial role in our health. And let’s not forget about the role micro-organisms play in the production of fermented beverages and foods, pharmaceuticals and bioplastics.   Research at our center aims to increase our understanding of microbes and higher organisms, and translate this knowledge in environmental, industrial and medical applications.

Beyond borders

Many of our research projects are conducted in close partnership with other research groups around the world. Additionally, we have close and ongoing collaborations with our colleagues at our two host institutes, VIB & KU Leuven.

Translating research results into tangible products that benefit society is high on the agenda of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology. This so-called technology transfer comes in different forms, such as industrial partnerships and colloborations, research cooperations, licensing agreements and start-ups. Research results of the center have led to the establishment of two young companies in the microbiology-based industry.

Funding & partners

Our research is supported by the Flemish government and several (inter)national funding bodies. Additionally, our research is also funded by numerous charity organizations that recognize the importance of combining fundamental and clinical research to generate therapeutic breakthroughs.

Center address

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology 
Gaston Geenslaan 1 bus 2471