Orphelie Lootens

CRIG member
Orphelie Lootens

Doctoral fellow/assistant – Department of Bioanalysis, Centre of Excellence in Mycotoxicology and Public Health - UGent; faculty of pharmaceutical sciences
Doctoral fellow/assistant – Department of Bioanalysis, Laboratory of Medical Biochemistry and Clinical Analyses – UGent; faculty of pharmaceutical sciences
Principal investigators: prof. Marthe De Boevre (PhD) & prof. Sarah De Saeger (PhD) & prof. Jan Van Bocxlaer (PhD)


Research focus

Mycotoxins contamination is a global food safety issue leading to major public health concerns. Repeated exposure to multiple mycotoxins not only has an impact on public health, but could also lead to interactions with other substances in the body - such as medicinal drugs - by altering pharmacokinetics and/or pharmacodynamics. In certain global regions, vulnerable populations are not only exposed to high levels of mycotoxins, but also to infectious agents such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Around 70 percent of the global infected HIV-population is located in Sub Saharan Africa. Efavirenz (EFV) is a frequently used HIV-blocker, in monotherapy or in combinations with other HIV-blockers.
The purpose of this research is to determine pharmacokinetic parameters of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a human carcinogenic mycotoxin, and EFV via in vitro research in human liver microsomes (HLM) using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).


  • Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2014-2017)
  • Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences – Drug Development – major in Personalized Medicines (2017-2019)
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2019- to date) 

My name is Orphélie and I studied at Ghent University. Currently I am doing a PhD in mycotoxins and drug interactions. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by molds that might be present in food commodities. Some mycotoxins e.g. aflatoxin B1, are carcinogenic, genotoxic, mutagenic, hepatotoxic and are a threat for the immune system. Next to the health problems that they cause, they might also interact with medicinal drugs in the human body. Climate change is also influencing global mycotoxin occurrence so there is a need to evaluate their effects. As a PhD student/Assistent I am also involved in the educational part of the academic life. I love to spread knowledge and am eager to learn alot from others.

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Ottergemsesteenweg 460 – 9000 Ghent
  • LinkedIn