Virologist Steven Van Gucht is the very first ‘Ghent University alumnus of the year’

Steven Van Gucht at the Morphology museum in his old faculty (large view)

Steven Van Gucht at the Morphology museum in his old faculty

(28-02-2022) He has played an incredibly important role in fighting the corona pandemic and makes regular appearances in the media. And on top of that, Steven Van Gucht can now claim the title of the very first ‘Ghent University alumnus of the year’.

“Our alumni are our most important ambassadors”, says rector Rik Van de Walle. We are keen to put one of them in the spotlight each year, and demonstrate our pride. It’s the alumni themselves who choose the person in question: they nominate the candidates. For this first edition too. We received hundreds of names of old students who inspire others with something remarkable, an exceptional career or a striking contribution in their field of expertise.

From this selection the jury chose Steven Van Gucht as winner, due to his social impact, clear communication style founded on solid scientific knowledge and a clear lack of polarising behaviour in this challenging period. A wonderful first in what will undoubtedly be a long series of amazing laureates.

Steven Van Gucht: “It’s really touching, as I still feel at home at Ghent University. I was involved here for a total of eleven years. Six years for my veterinary medicine studies to start with, and then five years for my doctorate. I have so many memories here. I made many friends, met my first love and our son was born here during the final year of my doctorate. So I am genuinely delighted.”

Steven Van Gucht studied veterinary medicine at Ghent University and completed his doctorate in 2005. He is a virologist and head of the laboratory at Sciensano. His most memorable moment at Ghent University is when he dissected a grasshopper, worm, mussel and rat, as a first-year student at Ledeganckstraat.

You can read the full interview with Steven Van Gucht on Dare To Think