Prof Sarah Lebeer

University of Antwerp, Belgium

Professor Sarah Lebeer obtained her Ph.D. in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven (2008) with molecular research on adaptation and probiotic factors of the model Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG at the Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics (CMPG). She stayed as a postdoctoral researcher (2008-2010)and later as a FWO postdoctoral researcher (2010-2011) in CPMG. In 2011, she moved to the University of Antwerp where she studies the impact of environmental microbes (gut, air, fermented foods, etc.) on human health while being also a guest lecturer at the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems, KU Leuven (2011-2017). At present, she is Associate Professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology at the Department of Bioscience Engineering of the University of Antwerp. Up to now, she has been promotor of 10 PhD theses on molecular and functional studies of potential probiotic lactobacilli and other beneficial microbes , their interaction with immune cells and currently supervises 12 Ph.D. students.

Professor Lebeer has given numerous lectures at national and international conferences such as the Welcome Trust meeting on Exploring Host-Microbiome interactions and Health and Disease, annual meetings of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP, the International Probiotic Conference, the TNO Conference on Beneficial Microbes, among others. Sheand has published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals including Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews (2008) and Nature Reviews Microbiology (2010), FEMS Microbiology Reviews (2013) and Trends in Microbiology (2012 and 2017).

Next to her academic activities, she is a member of the Biosafety Council, the Educational Council of Bachelor Bioscience Engineering & Biology and the Department Council of Bioscience Engineering (all 2011 to present) of the University of Antwerp and is the Head of the Educational Council of Bachelor Bioscience Engineering since 2016. She is also the academic board member of ISAPP, the Young Academy of Flanders, the Belgian Society of Microbiology and member of the American Society of Microbiology.

She is a recipient of a large IWT-SBO ProCure grant on probiotics for the upper respiratory tract (2016), the Science communication award for Ferme Pekes by the Royal Academy of Science (Belgium) & The Young Academy (2016), and the LABIP Mid-Career Senior Scientist award (2017) for “Outstanding Excellence in Lactic Acid Bacteria Research with an Industrial Relevance”.