Pierre Van Damme obtained his MD from the UAntwerpen, Belgium, in 1984. He obtained post-graduate degrees in health and economics, the evaluation of human corporal damage, and a master degree in occupational health. He obtained his PhD in epidemiology and social medicine in 1994, UAntwerpen. He is currently full professor at the UAntwerpen, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences where he chaired the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO, UAntwerpen) from 2007 until 2018; VAXINFECTIO is a consortium of four research units within the university: the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology (LMM), the Laboratory of Experimental Hematology (LEH), the Centre of Health Economic Research and Infectious Disease Modelling (CHERMID), and the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination (CEV). It is recognized as ‘Centre of Excellence’ of the UAntwerpen and functions as WHO Collaborating Centre for the WHO European Region for the control and prevention of infectious diseases.

Pierre Van Damme founded the CEV in 1994, regrouping now 13 technical and 14 research colleagues. He is promotor of 9 on-going PhDs. The centre conducts research in 4 main areas: (1) (sero-) epidemiology of infectious diseases; (2) vaccine trial studies including assessment of safety, protective efficacy and immunogenicity of preventative as well as therapeutic vaccines; (3) injection and diagnostic device research; (4) kinetics of vaccine-induced antibodies, including passive transfer of maternal antibodies and maternal immunization.

Pierre Van Damme has authored more than 385 peer-reviewed A1 papers (ISI Web of Science citations: 11,899; H-index: 55) and is on the editorial board of several scientific journals that focus on the study of vaccines and vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. He is co-author of a number of chapters in Plotkin’s Vaccines book, and is the editor of the recently published European textbook ‘Pediatric Vaccines and Vaccinations’. Professor Van Damme was awarded with the Research Award of the UAntwerpen, and in 2000,  with the Belgian Social Medicine Award ‘Jean Van Beneden’ for his work on the introduction of universal hepatitis B immunization programs. In May 2014, he was awarded with the prestigious Bill Marshall award of the ESPID society. In October 2017 he was awarded by the  ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals) with the European Outstanding Leadership Award;  and end of 2017 with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. In October 2018, he was awarded with the spotlight talk at the Bill & Melinda gates Foundation 2018 Grand Challenges.

His current research projects at the University are focused on the epidemiology and prevention of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, including recently Ebola, Chikungunya, Lassa, and novel polio candidate vaccines (in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). He is involved in a large number of EU- and IMI-projects. Since 1985 he has conducted more than 380 vaccine trials within the trial unit of the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination.

He has been for more than 10 years a regular advisor for national and international organizations, including the Flemish Vaccination platform, the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, and the World Health Organization (European Regional Office and Headquarters). He has been appointed as chairman of the European Technical Advisory Group of Experts on communicable diseases and vaccines for the WHO European Region (ETAGE) (2005-2015). He is a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of  Medicine since 2008, and of the board of Unicef Belgium (2010-2018).He is currently chairing the ETAGE working group on hepatitis B control.