Geneeskunde en Gezondheids­wetenschappen

International Collen-Francqui Professor: Philippe De Wals

Inaugural lecture: Factors shaping immunization programs: the role of experts and of contextual factors

Tuesday 24 May at 6 p.m.


University of Antwerp - Campus Drie Eiken
Building Q – Promotiezaal
Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk


  • Welcome by Professor Benedicte De Winter, Vice-Dean Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences University of Antwerp
  • Introduction of the Francqui Chair by Professor Herman Van Goethem, Rector University of Antwerp
  • Laudation by Professor Pierre Van Damme and Professor Philippe Beutels
  • Inaugural lecture by Professor Philippe De Wals: Factors shaping immunization programs: the role of experts and of contextual factors
  • Reception

The inaugural lecture is free of charge but registration via the registration form is mandatory.

More online lectures

  • Information systems for the evaluation of immunisation programs: contrasting the Quebec and Belgian experience
    Tuesday 31 May 2022
    4.30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Vaccine confidence​ and hesitancy: typology, frequency, causes and possible solutions

    Thursday 2 June
    4.30 p.m - 6 p.m.

    The online lectures are free of charge but registration via the registration form is mandatory. 
    (You will receive the link to the live stream by e-mail a few days before the lecture.)
    Registrations are closed. Last-minute registerers can still receive the link by sending an e-mail to

About Professor Philippe De Wals

Professor De Wals gained his Medical Degree and a Doctorate in Public Health in his home country of Belgium, at the Louvain Catholic University. His early academic and professional career combined epidemiology research studies at the School of Public Health at the Louvain Catholic University with the practice of general medicine. Between 1980 and 2000 he worked as an epidemiologist for EUROCAT, a European network of population-based registries for the epidemiologic surveillance of congenital anomalies. In 1990, he moved to Canada and became the Head of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Sherbrooke. In 1997, he was appointed visiting Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, USA. In 2002, he became Head of the Department of Social and preventive medicine at Laval University, Quebec City, until 2010. He retired from Laval University in 2019 and remains associated-professor at Sherbrooke and Laval University and emeritus professor at the Louvain Catholic University.

Professor De Wals’ research is centered on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, reproductive abnormalities, and the assessment of health services and public health programs and policies. He is the author of 200 published articles in scientific journals and has contributed several chapters to textbooks. Currently, Professor De Wals is a member of research centers at the Quebec University Hospital, the Sherbrooke University Hospital and the Quebec Heart and Lung University Institute. He also serves as medical advisor to the Quebec National Institute of Public Health.

In 1990, Professor De Wals was awarded the Jean Van Beneden Prize in recognition of his excellent work in the public health field. In 2005, he was elected to the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium. He was awarded the price for excellence of the Quebec Community Health Specialists Association in 2007. In 2020, he was the awardee of the Collen-Francqui International Professorship at Antwerp University.

About the International Francqui Professor

Each year, the Francqui Foundation awards three International Francqui Professor of Chairs, which should allow the stay of a foreign scientist in Belgium for an uninterrupted period of three to six months. The distribution of these three chairs is as follows: one for the Exact Sciences, one for the Human Sciences and one for the Biological and Medical Sciences.