Niels Hellings (°1973) graduated as master in bioscience-engineering at the Catholic University of Leuven (1996) and consequently obtained a PhD in immunology at Hasselt University (2000). He was visiting postdoctoral scientist at McGill University (Montréal), before returning to Hasselt University to setup his own research group. Currently, Niels Hellings is director of the biomedical research institute (BIOMED) and professor in immunology at the faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences at Hasselt University. He heads the neuroimmune connections & repair (NIC&R) lab that includes 2 tenure track professors, 3 post docs, 15 predocs and 2 technicians and published 110 peer reviewed articles (>3600 cites). The NIC&R lab focuses on immune mediated central nervous system damage and repair. To study this, a wide variety of immunological and glial cell assays are applied including functional human in vitro assays and high dimensional flow cytometry. BIOMED has easy access to well defined fresh patient samples through a strong collaboration with national and international neurologists. Apart from human in vitro studies, experimental animal models of neuroinflammation and -repair are up and running. In addition to basic research, collaborative valorization projects are set up with Flemish and international Biotech and Pharma. Niels Hellings is board member of the Belgian Immunological Society and Flanders Vaccine vzw.