Koen Putman Appointed as New Dean of VUB Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy

Koen Putman Appointed as New Dean of VUB Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy

BRUSSELS, June 24, 2024 (11:30 a.m. CEST) - The Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy at VUB has elected a new dean. With 87% of the votes, Prof. Dr. Koen Putman was chosen as dean and will lead the Faculty from the academic year 2024-2025 at the Brussels Health Campus.

Koen Putman holds a master's degree in physiotherapy and motor rehabilitation, a master’s degree in social health sciences, and earned his PhD from the VUB in 2006. After his postdoctoral research in Washington DC and Nottingham, he took charge of the I-CHER research group as a Health Services Research lecturer in late 2008 and became director of research for the faculty in 2020. Prior to that, he studied at the University of York and earned a Master’s degree in Health Technology Assessment.

Left to right: Sophie Hernot, Mark De Ridder, Koen Putman, Kurt Barbé, Karine Breckpot
Left to right: Sophie Hernot, Mark De Ridder, Koen Putman, Kurt Barbé, Karine Breckpot
Prof. dr. Koen Putman, Dean: "I am very pleased with the high turnout in the Dean elections and the large number of votes in favour. This indicates strong support for our team and the policy plan. Together with my team, I will strive to implement a sustainable financial policy focusing on high-quality education, robust research, and fulfilling our societal role in promoting research and training committed and ethically responsible professionals. Human and transparent policy, safe expression of opinions with a humanistic vision, and intensified collaboration with UZ Brussel and central services are key principles."
Prof. dr. Mark De Ridder, Vice-Dean, responsible for Student Affairs, UMC (Universitair Medisch Centrum) Matters, and Head of Radiotherapy at UZ Brussel: "Our Brussels Health Campus should be a pleasant living environment for our growing number of students, not only in terms of studies but also for leisure, housing, hospitality, and shopping. Additionally, within a UMC spirit, I aim to ensure that all doctors and scientific staff at UZ Brussel have opportunities to build a distinguished academic career and actively contribute to education and/or research. The synergy between our Faculty and UZ Brussel is a significant advantage for both."
Prof. dr. Kurt Barbé, Director of Education: "The world needs our students in medicine, biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, dentistry, health management, and gerontology. Therefore, we will continue to focus on the latest teaching methods and technologies, ensuring that our students have a lasting impact on healthcare and the quality of life of the population. Students will be able to explore the potential of Artificial Intelligence in their future profession with a critical eye. My role is to provide our lecturers with innovative learning tools and methods, enabling them to share their knowledge and experience as effectively as possible."
Prof. dr. Karine Breckpot, Director of Research: "Top research at our Faculty includes fundamental and applied research in the fields of pharmaceutical, biomedical, and medical sciences, as well as management and policy. The results of this top-tier research significantly contribute to better healthcare and public health. Therefore, it is crucial to continue supporting our research staff and fostering synergies between our Faculty, UZ Brussel, the business sector, and policymakers. Our mission is to further support and expand socially relevant research at the Brussels Health Campus."
Prof. dr. Sophie Hernot, Academic Secretary: "I look forward to contributing to greater transparency and humanity, and ensuring open communication between all services, programs, and departments."

The next faculty administration focuses on four core points for success and growth:

  • Ensuring a safe and supportive environment for staff and students, with a culture of openness and respect. The administration also aims to further develop the campus with attention to quality of life and safety.
  • Pursuing excellence in education and innovative research by investing in the latest teaching methods and research facilities, and attracting and retaining top talent.
  • Growing student numbers and increasing research demand for strategic and creative resource management.
  • Sustainable financial policies and effective fundraising are crucial for supporting current programs and investing in future initiatives.
  • Fulfilling a strong societal role by fostering collaboration between researchers with pharmaceutical, biomedical, and medical backgrounds at our Faculty and UZ Brussel, as well as with industrial partners and policymakers, to continue innovating and make significant contributions to public health and community welfare.

Els Wauters
Els Wauters Perscontact Geneeskunde & Farmacie

The Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy employs over 1300 staff members. Along with nearly 5000 employees of UZ Brussel, the Brussels Health Campus is not only one of the largest employers in Brussels but also a driving force for innovation and high-quality research in the country's largest student city.



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