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Division Animal and Human Health Engineering (A2H)

The Division Animal and Human Health Engineering (A2H) is a new division within the Department of Biosystems at KU Leuven consisting of a transdisciplinary team of researchers who are active in the field of animal and human health engineering.
Prof Jean - Marie Aerts, Division Head

More on mission

Gene Technology

The Laboratory of Gene Technology has emerged as a bacteriophage biology laboratory of international standard with a wide collaborative network in this field. The core research of the Lavigne group entails the molecular characterization of bacteriophages and their molecular relationship to their host using different “-omics” approaches to understand this interaction at the system’s biology level. From an applied perspective, this  research can be linked to the conceptualization of novel antibacterial design strategies for application in diverse fields including agriculture and medicine.

Measure, Model & Manage Bioresponses

Measure, Model & Manage Bioresponses (M3-BIORES) main research focus is to integrate the dynamic responses of living organisms in the monitoring and control of biological processes. Our objective is to measure continuously in an on-line way the responses of living organisms to their varying individual micro-environment. In our List of Projects you will find exciting examples of this approach.


Livestock Genetics focuses on molecular and quantitative genetics and genomics  in livestock and companion species (horse, pig, dog, sheep, cattle, …). We are working on health, welfare and economically important (re)production traits and are dedicated to apply the scientific results in practical breeding. Therefore, we develop and run breeding programs and genetic tests (for example identification and paternity testing) for breeding organizations and private customers. 

Physiology and Epigenetics

The Laboratory of Livestock Physiology (headed by prof J. Buyse) plays a world leading role in fundamental and applied poultry research with respect to endocrinology, energy and protein metabolism in the different developmental stages (incubation, growth, reproduction) of poultry. Furthermore, the Lab of Livestock Physiology has already acquired a lot of expertise in research related to metabolic imprinting  - the process whereby offspring acquire a ‘memory’ as a consequence of nutritional manipulations of parent stock – with the chicken as animal model.  A major recent project is focussed on the transgenerational effects of a reduced protein diet of broiler (grant)parent breeders on breeder reproductive and offspring performance and underlying physiological and epigenetic mechanisms.

Host Pathogen Interactions

The Laboratory of Host Pathogen Interactions aims to investigate host pathogen interactions that occur during infections of farm animals. The insights gained are translated in therapeutic or prophylactic options such as vaccines, immunomodulators or drugs.

Food and Health

The Nutrition and Health group does research on the functional aspects of nutrition for animals and humans, with emphasis on intestinal health and biomarkers thereof. In this broad field, there is special emphasis for host-pathogen interaction, intestinal immunity and inflammation, and functional feed/food. Research includes natural anti-inflammatory compounds such as polyphenols as promoters for growth and health, and natural alternatives for growth promoting antibiotics. In this research, a variety of models are used ranging from in vitro to in vivo, using a host of techniques including genomics and proteomics.