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Karen Vanhoorelbeke

KU Leuven, BE

Prof. Dr. Karen Vanhoorelbeke, was appointed as a BOF-ZAP professor at KU Leuven in 2007 (Full professor since 2019), Campus Kulak, Kortrijk, Belgium. Since 2014 she is chairman of the Interdisciplinary Research Facility at the same Campus. In 2010 she worked in the lab of prof. dr. Tim Springer at Harvard Medical School (Boston, US) as a visiting professor. From 2014 until 2018 she was a member of the KU Leuven research council.

Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which the hemostatic proteins van Willebrand factor (VWF) and its cleaving enzyme ADAMTS13 contribute to health and disease ( Her group performs fundamental research to understand the role of VWF and ADAMTS13 in hemostasis, bleeding and thrombosis and to unravel their mode-of-action. These findings form the basis for translational research lines where preclinical animal models are established to study disease pathology and new treatment strategies. She has a strong expertise in monoclonal antibody development for fundamental research, diagnostic assay development and drug development.

Her research is embedded in several national and international research projects. Recently she was awarded a Horizon2020 Marie Curie training network grant ‘PROFILE’ of which she is the coordinator ( She is author and coauthor of more than 139 scientific publications in international peer reviewed journals and is (co) promotor of 27 PhD students.

Karen Vanhoorelbeke is also co-founder of PharmAbs (, an innovation, incubation and valorization at KU Leuven. PharmAbs clusters the antibody expertise of 5 academic groups and uses this expertise to support translational projects of academic groups and companies. The members of the group have a vast expertise in major aspects of antibody generation/engineering in line with the critical route of biopharmaceutical development, immunoassay development and IPR protection strategies

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