Molecular biologist, biotech pioneer, entrepreneur and businessman, Hugo Van Heuverswyn has been the chairman of the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) since its inception in 1995.
He obtained a chemistry degree at the University of Ghent and a PhD at the Department of Molecular Biology, where he and his colleagues were the first to determine the structure and regulatory mechanisms of a complete viral DNA genome.
In 1979, Van Heuverswyn and Dr. Carlos Morel created the first molecular biology laboratory in Brazil, at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro. Upon his return, he continued to apply recombinant DNA research in the field of immunology at the University of Ghent. He is the founder of biotech firms Biogent, Innogenetics, BioMaric, and Biotech Incubation Partners. In 2003 he and Rudy Dekeyser initiated the creation of Flanders.bio, the association of biotechnology companies in Flanders.