Dr. Laura Cornelissen DTM&H
Dr. Laura Cornelissen is a medical doctor with a specialist degree in Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Since 2019, she is working at the Belgian Public Health Institute, Sciensano, at the department of epidemiology of infectious diseases, where she now leads the team of vaccine-preventable diseases.
She completed her training as an M.D. at the KU Leuven University, Belgium and LMU München, Germany. During her specialty training in Ob/gyn she spent one year in a public hospital in Pretoria, South Africa where she combined clinical work with the role of facility coordinator for a large WHO-lead multicenter trial on maternal sepsis. Convinced of the importance of public and international health, she further obtained a diploma in tropical medicine and international health (DTM&H) and MSc International Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. During this time, she was trained in subjects like ‘advanced statistical methods in epidemiology’ and ‘analytical models for decision making’ and was awarded the prize for the best student.
Since the start of her career at Sciensano, she has co-authored several papers on vaccine-preventable diseases, in particular COVID-19 and measles, acted as a peer reviewer for renowned journals, presented on international conferences and contributed to newspaper articles and television broadcasts. As co-lead of the Belgian Risk Assessment Group and member of the Belgian NITAG, Dr. Cornelissen has had first-hand experience with the challenges of advising policy makers in uncertain pandemic times. She acts as Belgian National Focal Point for vaccine-preventable diseases for ECDC and as such is also a member of the newly founded European Immunisation and Vaccine Monitoring Board, the representative of Belgium in the EU-NITAG collaboration and in VAC4EU, a vaccine-monitoring collaboration for Europe. As the scientific secretariat of the Belgian Elimination Committee for Measles & Rubella, she has a particular interest in these two diseases, but is strongly convinced of the importance of a holistic approach to vaccination programmes.