I graduated as an MD in 1994 and subsequently obtained a Master's degree in Hygiene and Public Health in 1996. In 2001, I joined the Department of OB/GYN of Ghent University and started working through several small grants on different research projects in the field of obstetrics. I developed a particular interest in common reproductive health conditions, such as preterm birth. In 2002 I obtained a grant to study the vaginal microbiota in relation with preterm birth, soon refocusing my interest to the vaginal ecosystem, which has since then been my major area of research. I 2009, I obtained a PhD in Medicine with a thesis on the molecular characterisation of the vaginal microbiota, and was appointed as an Assistant Professor in 2010, and as an Associate Professor in 2012.
As a researcher my main focus continues to be the female genital tract microbiome. I have no laboratory, nor do I belong to particular research group, but rather I try to conduct research in collaboration with various researchers and labs.
As a clinician, I am in charge of the Vulvovaginal Disease Clinic at our University Hospital; while I have a broad interest in vulvar disease, I am mostly consulted by patients with genital pain for which I am continuously exploring new treatment options, without conducting formal research however. Accordingly, I have a huge interest in developing new formulations, drug delivery forms, etc. in treating vaginal and vulvar conditions.