About Samuel Coenen

Samuel Coenen (ResearcherID A-6410-2011, ORCID 0000-0002-1238-8052) is assistant professor and head of the Centre of General Practice, collaborating closely with the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO) and particularly with the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, headed by Herman Goossens. He was granted several Fellowships by the Research Foundation-Flanders (pre-doctoral 1997-1999, and renewed 1999-2002; post-doctoral 2003-2006, and renewed 2006-2009). His research focuses on the multidisciplinary study of infectious diseases, with particular focus on the management of respiratory tract infections in primary care in the context of antimicrobial resistance, and the etiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of bacterial and viral infections. In 2010 he was assigned as 'Honorary research fellow' of Cardiff University and since 2013 he is seconded part-time to Cardiff University.

Short CV

Samuel Jules Adeline Coenen was born in Antwerp, Belgium, May 21 1972.
He is married to Sylvie Van Bylen and the father of Seppe (°1998) and Lieselotte (°1999).

In secondary school he studied Latin and Greek (St. Xaverius College 1990: cum Laude). He graduated as a Candidate in Medical Sciences from the University of Antwerp (RUCA 1993: Summa cum Laude; a 3-year study programme), and as Medical Doctor (UIA 1997: Summa cum Laude; a 4-year study programme). His Master's thesis on the diagnostic value of history and clinical examination for the diagnosis of respiratory tract infections was rewarded.

Instead of continuing his professional training as a general practitioner, he choose to focus on research in general practice for which he was granted a Fellowship as Research-assistant of the Research Foundation-Flanders (1997-1999, and renewed 1999-2002). His research focused on antibiotic prescribing for acute cough in the context of increasing antimicrobial resistance. He defended a dissertation entitled 'Antibiotics for coughing in general practice: exploring, describing and optimising prescribing' in 2003 for the degree of doctor in Medical Science at the University of Antwerp. He was granted a Post-doctoral Fellowship by the Research Foundation-Flanders (2003-2006, and renewed 2006-2009). In the Doctoral Study Programme for Ph.D. students in Medical Science he has made himself familiar with subjects ranging from statistics over evidence based medicine and (qualitative) research in general practice to the philosophy of science, from scientific reporting in English and French over Powerpoint to webauthoring, and, even more universalist, from the monetary union over the financial world crisis to investments, emotional intelligence and the Socratic conversation...

To date, he (co-)authored over 270 contributions in (inter)national peer-reviewed journals (see academic bibliography) and gave about 30 oral presentations at (inter)national conferences. He received the Specia-prize for Excellence during Medical Studies (1997), the ADVISA-prize for Young Researcher in General Practice (2000), the Pharmacia Award for Flemish Research in General Practice (2001), and was nominated for the Special Equip Quality Improvement Prize (2002) and the Pharmacia Corporation-prize UA Antwerp (2002). He was granted funding by the Small Project Fund of the Research Council of the University of Antwerp (1998; 2007), Domus Medica, formerly the Scientific College for Flemish General Practitioners (WVVH) (2000) and the Special Projects Fund of the European Society of General Practice/Family Medicine (2001), the DOCPHARMA Foundation (2003), the Federal Government Service Public Health (2004), the European Science Foundation (2006) and the Research Foundation-Flanders (2008). In 2010 he was assigned as 'Honorary research fellow' of Cardiff University.

Currently, Samuel Coenen is head of the Centre of General Practitice and its research team Infectious Diseases, collaborating closely with the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO) and particularly with the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, headed by Herman Goossens. He supervises master thesis’s and master-after-master thesis’s and he lectures medical decision making at the University of Antwerp. He was member of the GRACE  (Genomics to combat Resistance against Antibiotics in Community-acquired LRTI in Europe) and the ESAC  (European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Surveillance ) Management Team, partner of CHAMP (Changing behaviour of Health care professionals And the general public towards a More Prudent use of anti-microbial agents), and collaborator in  THERAEDGE (An integrated platform enabling Theranostic applications at the Point of Primary Care) and HAPPY AUDIT (Health Alliance for Prudent Prescribing, Yield and Use of Antimicrobial Drugs in the Treatment of Respiratory Tract Infections). Currently, he is manager of TRACE (Translational Research on Antimicrobial resistance and Community-acquired infections in Europe), partner of APRES (The appropriateness of prescribing antibiotics in primary health care in Europe with respect to antibiotic resistance), and SATURN (Impact of Specific Antibiotic Therapies on the Prevalence of Human Host Resistant Bacteria) ), and still collaborator in e-Bug (Development and dissemination of a school antibiotic and hygiene education pack and website across Europe). These projects were granted by DG Sanco of the European Commission, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the European Science Foundation or within the 6th or 7th Framework Programme.  He is member of EGPRN (European General Practice Research Network), ESCMID (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases), and Domus Medica , was member of the Domus Medica Guideline Development Steering Committee, but currently co-editor-in-chief of Huisarts Nu the journal of  Domus Medica . He also chairs the BAPCOC (Belgian Antibiotic Policy Coordination Committee) Working Party on Sensitisation, responsible for the Belgian public campaign on appropriate antibiotic use. He occasionally reviews manuscripts for international peer-reviewed journals and is (co-)author of the Domus Medica guidelines `Acute cough`, `Active screening for Chlamydia trachomatis in general practice` and the BAPCOC guideline for lower respiratory tract infections in adults.

PhD thesis: brief summary

Coenen S. Antibiotics for coughing in general practice: exploring, describing and optimising prescribing [Dissertation]. University of Antwerp – UIA 2003. ISBN 90-5728-039-6.

This dissertation aimed to contribute to the development of effective strategies for a more appropriate use of antibiotics in the context of increasing bacterial resistance. Since coughing is one of the most common complaints in general practice, and most antibiotics are prescribed by GPs and for this condition, the appropriate use of antibiotics to treat coughing is a key area of action in order to tackle the resistance problem. Exploring and describing the antibiotic prescribing decision we found non-medical reasons, especially the GPs’ perception of the patient’s request, favoured antibiotic prescribing. We developed a guideline for acute cough taking non-medical reasons into account. Implementing the guideline through academic detailing resulted in a controlled reduction of antibiotic prescriptions. Furthermore, antibiotic prescriptions were more in line with the guideline and cheaper. Finally, optimising prescribing did not affect patients’ symptom resolution.

PhD thesis summary

Download the summary here.