MD, PhD, Professor of Human Genetics, Co-Director, de Duve Institute, Human Molecular Genetics, de Duve Institute, University of Louvain (UCLouvain), Brussels, Belgium.
Prof Vikkula obtained the M.D. degree at the University of Helsinki in 1992 and Ph.D. in molecular genetics, in 1993. He was a Research Associate at Harvard Medical School 1993-1997, during which time he became interested in vascular and lymphatic anomalies. With his wife, Prof Laurence M. Boon, Plastic Surgeon, Co-ordinator of the Vascular Anomaly Center, Brussels, the couple discovered the gene for familial venous malformation in 1996, and since then many others. They settled in Brussels in 1997, where Dr Vikkula developed his own laboratory. He obtained a "docentship PhD" in 2000 from UCLouvain, and was nominated Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine in UCLouvain. He is a member of the Directorate of the de Duve Institute since 2004, and a full professor of Human Genetics since 2013. He has received numerous honours and awards, including the Inbev-Baillet Latour Clinical Prize in 2013, and the first Belgian Generet Award for rare disease research 2019. He is a Member of the Royal Belgian Academy of Medecine since 2012. Prof Vikkula’s research led to the identification of first somatic mutatios as explanation for sporadically occurring vascular anomalies, generation of first ever animal models for vascular malformations, and proof of concept treatment with small molecular inhibitors. Clinical trials are now being conducted with various molecules in various countries. Prof Vikkula is well-known internationally as a major contributor to the understanding of molecular basis of vascular anomalies and lymphedema with >160 peer-reviewed publications, >50 reviews and chapters in major medical text books, and nearly 20000 citations with an H-index of 70 (Google scholar).