Pr. Jacques Mahillon


Pr Jacques Mahillon graduated as Master in Bioscience Engineering (1980) from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain), where he got his Ph.D. in 1987. After a postdoc in Molecular Biology (1989-1992) at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, USA), he joined the Belgian FNRS as Research Associate (1991-2002) and was appointed Associate Professor at UCLouvain in 2000. He is currently heading the Laboratory of Food and Environmental Microbiology, which comprises ca. 20 members. He is/was the supervisor of 40 Ph.D. theses, and was jury member of 74 other theses. Pr Mahillon is (co-)author of ca. 160 peer-reviewed papers and nine book chapters. He is member of the American Society for Microbiology, the Belgian Society for Microbiology, and the Belgian Society for Food Microbiology (Chairman since 2016). Pr Mahillon was Dean of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, where he is teaching Microbiology, Genetics, Food Microbiology and Biotechnology.

His research focuses on the following topics:

  • Molecular studies on the genetic and genomic plasticity of members of the Bacillus cereus group, including the food contaminant B. cereus, the biopesticide B. thuringiensis, the thermotolerant B. cytotoxicus and the pathogen B. anthracis.

  • Contribution of mobile genetic elements and conjugative plasmids to the genomic flexibility and virulence of B. cereus and functional characterisation of bacterial phages and plasmids.

  • Development of biocontrol strategies to control the development of foodborne and plant pathogens, using GRAS (Generally Recognised As Save) bacteria, antimicrobial molecules and bacteriophages.