Dr. Peter HellingsBelgium

Peter Hellings, neus-keel-oorarts in het AZ Sint-Rafaël, Kapucijnenvoer 33, Leuven


I. Personal data

Born in Aalst, Belgium, on 27 April 1971

Secondary School: St-Jozefscollege, Pontstraat, Aalst

Private address: Rotspoelstraat 1, 3060 Bertem



Working address:

1/ Department of Otorhinolaryngology

University Hospitals Leuven

Herestraat 49

B-3000 Leuven

Tel: +32 16 332211

2/ Department of Otorhinolyngology

Academic Medical Center Amsterdam

Meibergdreef 9

1105 AZ Zuid-Oost Amsterdam

Married to Ingeborg Stalmans, MD, PhD, Professor at the KULeuven

Father of Peter-William (°1997), Nicolas (°2000) and Anna-Maria (°2003)

E-mail: Peter.Hellings@uzleuven.be

  1. Professional career in brief

 In 1989, Peter Hellings entered medical school at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven where he graduated magna cum laude in 1996. He started his specialty training in Otorhinolaryngology in 1996 at the University Hospitals of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. In 1997, he was the recipient of a grant from the F.W.O. (Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) Vlaanderen. From then, he was a research fellow in the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology and defended his PhD thesis entitled ‘Immunomodulation in allergic rhinitis and asthma’ at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven on 15th October 2001. After graduating as an Otorhinolaryngologist in July 2003, he performed a clinical and post-doctoral fellowship at the E.N.T Research Laboratory of the Akademisch Medisch Centrum (AMC), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, under guidance of Professor Dr. W. Fokkens. He has been a visiting fellow at the Dept. of Otorhinolarynology of the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2004.

Since August 2004 he is working at the Dept. of Otorhinolaryngoloy of the University Hospitals Leuven and was nominated docent and head docent at the KU Leuven in 2004 and 2008 respectively. He has been appointed full professor (hoogleraar) at the KU Leuven in Oct. 2012. Since 2014, he is also nominated full professor (hoogleraar) at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and nominated guest professor at the University of Ghent in 2015.

As a post-doctoral fellow of the FWO Vlaanderen, he is leading European research consortia on global airway allergy and nasal mucosal pathology, and guiding several doctoral fellows in the preparation of a PhD thesis on airway mucosal immmunology at the Laboratory of Clinical Immunology of the Catholic University of Leuven. The research of his group has recently led to novel insights into the pathophysiology of allergy and chronic airway inflammation.

He has been the organizing president of the annual meeting of the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery in Bruges in 2011, under the High Patronage of H.R.H. Queen Mathilde of Belgium, and of the bi-annual European scientific SERIN meeting in Leuven in 2013, under the High Patronage of H.R.H. Princess Astrid of Belgium. He became member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium in 2012, and current secretary of the Commission International Relations. After being chair of the ENT section, he is the Secretary-General of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2015-2017), and the president-elect of EAACI. H is the national representative for Belgium at the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery (EAFPS).

He is the founding director of the European Rhinoplasty Course (Brussels), and current director of the International Course in Modern Rhinoplasty Techniques (Amsterdam). In 2015, he founded EUFOREA, European Forum for Research and Education in Allergy and Airways Disease, and launched the European Initiative on Precision Medicine in Allergies and Airways Diseases in the European Parliament on Oct. 14, 2015 with the European Commissioner of Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis.

At the occasion of the National Day in 2016, King Filip of Belgium granted him the title of Commander in the Order of Leopold.


III. Current major professional positions:

  • Clinic Head at the University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium
  • Full Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Full Professor at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Guest Professor at the University of Ghent, Belgium
  • Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
  • Secretary-General of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI)
  • President-elect of EAACI
  • National delegate for Belgium of the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery (EAFPS)
  • Scientific advisor of the European Rhinologic Society (ERS)
  • Director of the European Rhinoplasty Course ‘Excellence in Rhinoplasty’ (www.europeanrhinoplastycourse.eu)
  • Director of the International Course in Rhinoplasty Techniques in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Founding director of EUFOREA, international non-profit organization in Brussels, involving a consortium of the European key opinion leaders and consortium of research centra
  • Member of international expert committees on allergic airway disease (ARIA) and rhinosinusitis (EPOS)
  • Associate editor of the following journals: Rhinology, Allergy, Clinical Translational Allergy and Int. Forum All & Rhinology

III. Scientific Awards and Major Grants

1/ Glaxo Wellcome Award in Experimental Rhinology 1998

2/ Annual Award of the Belgian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 1999

3/ Laureate of the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine in 2001 for research on the role of cytokines in allergic asthma

4/ JMA Poster Prize at the annual EAACI meeting in Naples in 2002

5/ Allergopharma Award in Paris in 2003

6/ Pfizer Educational Grant in Leuven in 2003

7/ Bi-annual Award of the European Rhinologic Society for basic rhinologic research in Istanbul in 2004

8/ Rhi-Pla Grant of the European Rhinologic Society in 2009

9/ GOA grant (1.000.000 Euro) together with Prof. Guy Boeckxstaens and Prof. Karel Talavera

10/ TBM grant (675.000 Euro) of the IWT Vlaanderen (2013)

11/ TBM grant (375.000 Euro) of the IWT Vlaanderen (2015)

12/ Grant of the Baillet Latour Foundation for EUFOREA (2015-2017)

14/ C1 grant of KULeuven for basic research

15/ Grant of the Baillet Latour Foundation for EUFOREA (2018-2021)


  1. Articles in international reviewed journals


Peter Hellings has more than 220 manuscripts published in high-standard scientific journals, including Nature, Lancet, J Clin Investig, J Immunol, Allergy, Eur J Immuno, Clinical Experimental Allergy, and others.



  1. Promotorship of PhD fellowships

1/ Greet Hens, MD, with thesis entitled: Unraveling the neurogenic mechanisms involved in naso-bronchial interaction, defended in 2007

2/ Valerie Hox, MD, with thesis entitled: Mechanisms of hypochlorite-induced airway dysfunction, defended in June 2012

3/ Wouter Huvenne, MD, with thesis entitled: Role of Staphylococcus enterotoxin B in aggravation of airway inflammation, defended in December 2012

4/ Ina Callebaut, with thesis entitled Naso-ocular interaction in allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, defended in June 2013

5/ Sonja Bobic, with thesis entitled    ‘Edema and angiogenesis in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps’, defended in Sept. 2013

6/ Valerie Picavet, with thesis entitled ‘Body dysmorphic disorder in rhinoplasty’ defended in Sept. 2013

7/ Dieudonné Nyuembue, with thesis entitled ‘Sensitization profile and burden of allergic rhinitis in Congo’ in June 2013

8/ Laura Van Gerven, with thesis entitled ‘Neuro-immune interaction in rhinitis / rhinosinusitis’, defended in Sept. 2014

9/ Brecht Steelant, with thesis entitled  ‘Epithelial barrier dysfunction and regulation in rhintis’, defended in 201

10/ Inge Kortekaas-Crohn with thesis entitled ‘Mast cell – epithelial cell interaction in upper airwa inflammation’, defended in 2018


Ongoing PhD Projects with P.W. Hellings as promotor:

1/ Philio Lekakis: from 1 Sept 2014 until 30 August 2016

Topic: towards optimal care in rhinoplasty patients

2/ Kathleen Martens: from 15 Feb 2016 until 31 Jan 2021

Topic: influence of microbiome on nasal mucosal barrier


3/ Wout Backaert: from 1 Sept 2018 till 31 Aug 2022

Topic: neuro-immune mechanisms underlying allergic rhinitis

and rhinosinusitis