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Filomeen Haerynck

Filomeen Haerynck

On Congenital Primary Immune Disorders Amongst Children

Since 2002, Doctor Filomeen Haerynck has worked as a pediatric pulmonologist at the Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Infectious Diseases and Congenital Immune Disorders in Children at UZ Gent, where she's involved with the Center for Mucoviscidosis as well. That's how she caught the attention of the Play4 TV show Topdokters, which featured the pediatric immunologist treating toddlers to young teenagers with low immunity and frequent illnesses due to a congenital primary immune disorder.

"There are more than four hundred different congenital immune disorders," Haerynck says. "In one child it's noticeable right after birth, in another it won't show up until around age 10. There are even people who don't display the first symptoms until around age 30." With her UZ Gent team, she also conducted research in recent years on young, healthy patients who nevertheless became seriously ill with COVID-19. The renowned journal Science has since published the results, which have also been widely reported in the Belgian press.

After studying medicine at Ghent University, Haerynck completed her training as a pediatrician in the pediatric clinic at UZ Gent. She then specialized in innate immune disorders with Professor A. Fischer at Hôpital Necker in Paris, and in 2014 she received her PhD in medical sciences with a dissertation on innate immunity in chronic infectious and inflammatory diseases.

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