Management Board


Steven Van Cruchten

Steven is president of BelTox and a Veterinarian degree and a PhD in Veterinary Sciences from UGhent.

He is Professor of Comparative Perinatal Development at the University of Antwerp.

He has 15 years of experience in reproductive and developmental toxicology, focusing on the development of New Approach Methodologies and animal models for safety testing of drugs during pregnancy and early childhood.


François Huaux

François is vice-president of Beltox and is Professor of toxicology affiliated with Louvain Centre for Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (LTAP) at UCLouvain.

He is also a senior research associate for FNRS (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique) and Principal Investigator in immunotoxicology and human health.


Erik Van Miert

Erik is secretary of Beltox and holds a MSc degree in biochemistry (UAntwerp) and his PhD in Public Health (UC Louvain).

He started his career as inhalation toxicologist and study director.

He is senior regulatory toxicologist involved in regulatory (eco-)toxicology and risk assessment at Solvay SA.


An Van Rompay

An is treasurer of BelTox and holds a MSc degree in Chemistry (KdG) and a PhD in Molecular Biology/Virology (Karolinska Institute).

She is Principal Toxicologist at Penman Consulting BVBA.

She is the technical lead for REACH consortia’s and companies for projects related to regulatory, technical and scientific services for the chemical, petrochemical, plant protection, pharmaceutical, detergents, cosmetics and fine chemical Industries.

Public Relations

Mieke Van Mulders

Mieke is reponsible for the Public Relations of BelTox and holds a MSc degree in Biomedical sciences.

She works as a scientist at Sciensano and the VUB.

She is working on the RE-Place project which has the goal to collect the available expertise on the use of alternative methods to animal testing, also known as ‘New Approach Methodologies’, into one central database in Belgium.

Via this project, she is actively promoting the use of NAMs in BE.


Viella Krieckemans

Viella is responsible for the secretariat of BelTox and holds a Bachelor degree in Marketing (KdG) and a postgratuate in event management (Katholieke Hogeschool Mechelen).

She provides administrative support to the Management Board and ad-hoc working groups of the Steering Committee.

She ensures that all questions are directed to the right experts.

Steering Committee Members

Arno Gutleb

Arno holds a Veterinarian degree and a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Toxicology from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna and Wageningen University, respectively.

He is Head of the Group Environmental Health of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology.

He has over 30 years of experience in the development of in vitro assays.

Joao Alves Barbosa

João holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a PhD in Bioscience Engineering. In his current position as a postdoctoral researcher at Blue Growth Research Lab, Ghent University, he focuses in assessing environmental and human health via the combination of in silico, in vitro and in vivo methods, aiming to advance our understanding of the interactions between ecosystems and public health.

Neslihan Aygün Kocabaş

Neslihan Aygün Kocabaş graduated from Gazi University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ankara- Türkiye in 1993. She worked at Gazi University Pharmacy Faculty Department of Pharmaceutical Toxicology, initially as a research assistant, then doctor research assistant, Assistant Prof Dr and Assoc. Prof (1993-2012). She did her PhD at Newcastle upon Tyne Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacogenetics, UK and Gazi University sponsored by TUBITAK Integrated PhD Programme (BDP) (1996-2000). During her academic years, she studied at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, US and the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium.  She has been settled in Belgium since 2005. In the meantime, she taught as Adjunct Assoc. Prof. at the University of Maryland (UMUC) Europe. Then she moved to the industry and has worked as a Toxicologist in chemical and petrochemical-related companies (ReachCentrum, Huntsman Chemicals, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation -SABIC). She is currently working at TotalEnergies as a Toxicology manager in the Strategy, Growth and Research Division, Refinery and Chemicals Unit, Belgium. She also serves as chair and expert in the chemicals-related groups in the EU REACH consortiums [Lower Olefins Aromatic (LOA), Concawe, etc.] and Fuels Europe, and as a scientific expert in both the Plastics Europe Microplastics Science Task Force and CEFIC Microplastics Expert Group on polymers. She was certified as a European Registered Toxicologist (ERT) in July 2009.  She has 52 international publications in SCI journals and is a member of many professional associations.

Francesca Tencalla

Francesca was the previous president of BelTox and holds a MSc degree in (Eco)toxicology (University of Lausanne) and PhD in (Eco)toxicology (ETH).

She is the director and co-owner of ToxMinds BVBA.

She is also the technical lead for the company’s projects related to the human health and environmental evaluation of chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, biocides, and pesticides.

Mark Martens

Mark was the previous secretary of Beltox and holds a MSc degree in Pharmacy and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from UGhent.

Mark is a retiree from Johnson&Johnson and was a consultant in preclinical development and toxicology with more than 45 years of experience in the safety assessment of drugs, pesticides and industrial chemicals.

Previously he was BelTox president from 2005 till 2014.

Miranda Cornet

Miranda was the previous treasurer of BelTox and holds a MSc degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a PhD in Toxicology from VUB.

She is a senior toxicologist with proven expertise in safety assessment of pharmaceuticals, and the Director Non-clinical Safety Evaluation at UCB Biopharma.

Previously she was BelTox President from 2015 till 2020.

Jacques de Gerlache

Jacques holds a MSc degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from UCLouvain.

He is Professor of ecotoxicology and environmental management at the Institut Paul Lambin.

He has many years of experience as an (eco)toxicologist in an international chemical company, and is Manager of Greenfacts.

Vitalina Gryshkova

Vitalina holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, National Academy of Science (Kyiv, Ukraine) and  a postgraduate degree in Medicines Development Sciences (Pharmed, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)).

She is a board-certified toxicologist  (DABT) with several years of pharmaceutical industry experience in investigative toxicology and non-clinical safety assessment of small molecules, biologics, and novel modalities.

Her current position is a Non-clinical Safety Lead at UCB Biopharma.

Sébastien Cambier

Sebastien holds a PhD in Ecotoxicology from the University of Bordeaux. He is a researcher in the Group Environmental Health of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology. He focuses in assessing environmental and human health impact of chemicals aiming to advance our understanding of the interactions between the chemical and biological models while adhering the 3R principles.

Monica Autiero

Monica holds a PhD in Molecular Biology (University ‘Paris XI’, Paris).

She is Senior Consultant at ToxMinds BVBA and leads the company’s efforts in the area of non-animal based safety assessments with particular focus on (Q)SAR modelling and identifying analogue and read across-based hazard assessment approaches.

Matteo Creta

Matteo Creta holds a MSC in Pharmacy (Sapienza University) and PhD in Biomedical Science (KUL) concerning the assessment of chemicals exposure in occupational and environmental settings.

Currently, as Technical Responsible at Laboratoire National de Santé (Luxembourg),  I am in charge of the exposure assessment to inorganic and organic chemicals and the evaluation of their impact on human health for the National Health Surveillance in Luxembourg.

Julie Muller

Julie holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences with an orientation in Toxicology, Genetic and Immunology from the Faculty of Médecine at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Brussels, Belgium. She is Senior Consultant at ToxMinds and has more than 10 years of professional experience as toxicologist, regulatory expert and HSE manager. She brings in a wealth of experience in the toxicological risk assessment of chemical substance including nanomaterials and EU Chemicals Regulations.

Ruth Moeller

Ruth holds a MSc degree in Toxicology.

She is a Senior Regulatory Toxicologist working at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).

She has more than 15 years of experience in toxicology, human health risk assessment and regulatory science.

Sonja Beken

Sonja holds a MSc degree in Biology and PhD in Pharmacy (both VUB).

She is the team coordinator of non-clinical assessors at the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products, and has over 20 years of experience in the evaluation of non-clinical data submitted to support all phases of drug development.

She is actively involved in international initiatives for regulatory implementation of 3R testing paradigms.

Riet Van Deun

Riet holds a MSC degree in Bioscience engineering from KU Leuven.
She is Managing Director at Agirad BV.
She is consultant in toxicology with experience in toxicological study monitoring, toxicological dossier preparation, and toxicological risk assessments of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Jacques-Aurélien Sergent

Jacques-Aurélien Sergent holds a M.Sc in Biomedical Ethics  and a PhD in molecular and Cellular Biology (Univ Cergy Pontoise) and a PhD in biomedical Sciences (Univ Montréal). He is a Toxicologist working for Solvay SA for more than 10 years, specialized with nanomaterials. He supports different businesses worldwide, from the research to the market regulatory dossiers (REACh, Cosmetics, Food, Feed) for Physico Chemistry Environmental fate and (Eco-)Toxicology.

Freddy Van Goethem

Freddy holds a MSc degree in Biology and PhD in Cellular & Genetic Toxicology (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). After a post-doc project focussing on the identification and validation of new sensitive biomarkers for human exposure to heavy metals, he started a Janssen Pharmaceutica (J&J).

He has more than 25 years of experience in the development and implementation of New Approach Methodologies to identify and de-risk safety liabilities in the different phases of drug development.

After returning to the VUB, in his current role as Business Developer and Sr. Researcher, he supports different research groups focussing on the development of liver therapeutics and advanced in vitro models as part of a next generation risk assessment strategy.

Steven Verberckmoes

After completing the studies in biochemical engineering in 1997 Steven Verberckmoes obtained his PhD in medical sciences in 2005 at the University of Antwerp, Belgium studying the toxicology of strontium on the bone metabolism.

From 2005-2008 he took the position as post-doctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp in the department of pathophysiology leading the investigations on the mineral characterization in the pathology of organ calcification.

Since 2008 Steven joined Umicore (a leading materials technology company) as toxicologist where he is leading the scientific development of regulatory dossiers of (metal-containing) chemicals together with the chemicals management and product stewardship team. In this role he is part of the scientific working groups several REACH metal consortia and technical working groups of Eurometaux.

He successfully registered at the European Toxicology Registry of Eurotox since 2010 and is member of the steering committee of the Belgian toxicology society Beltox.

Valérie Cornet