Jessica Spengler and Leen Delang kindly volunteered to be nominated, and were then elected by the ISAR members, to serve as members of the Board of Directors of the society until 2023. It is our pleasure to introduce Leen.
Leen Delang obtained her Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Leuven in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2011. During her Ph.D. in the team of Prof. Johan Neyts at the Rega Institute for Medical R
esearch, Leen studied new antiviral targets for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and strategies to prevent the selection for antiviral drug resistance. As a postdoctoral fellow, she identified and characterized new antiviral drugs against chikungunya virus and other a
rboviruses. In 2016, she was a visiting researcher in the team of Prof. Anna-Bella Failloux at the Pasteur Institute in Paris,
where she studied the transmission of drug-resistant chikungunya virus by Aedes mosquitoes. After her return to Leuven, she established an insectary to rear local and invasive mosquito species and a mosquito infection laboratory in the BSL3 facility.
In 2019, Leen received a junior research professorship mandate by the University of Leuven to start her own research group. Her current research interests are the transmission of West-Nile virus and Usutu virus by local mosquitoes, understanding the early stages of arbovirus infection in the host skin and new strategies to treat or prevent arbovirus infections. Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, she has been involved in the search for antiviral therapies to treat COVID-19 patients. She is a member of the Corona Measures Task Force of the University of Leuven and of the COVID-19 group of Metaforum, an interdisciplinary university think tank . She also participates in science communication and outreach about COVID-19 to the general public on Belgian news websites, national radio, and television.
Leen is currently involved in several ISAR committees: she has been organizing the Career Development event at ICAR since 2018 and is a member of the Women in Science (since 2019) and Awards Selection committee (since 2020). She has served as a poster judge at several ICARs and has been reviewing ICAR abstracts on emerging viruses since 2018. In addition, she is a co-organizer of the next International Meeting on Arboviruses and their Vectors, which is planned to take place in 2022. Since 2020, Leen is serving as an editor of the Journal of General Virology and she is a member of the editorial board of Antiviral Research since 2018.
Please join us on welcoming Leen to the Board of Directors and on thanking her for her service to the society!
9 April 2021
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