Skip to main content

Epstein Barr Virus and Multiple Sclerosis: Old Wine in New Bottles?

Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) and its possible involvement in the etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) has regained a lot of attention lately. But did we really learn something new or do recent reports merely confirm what has been known for many years? Did we get any further than the paradigms which have been textbook knowledge for some time? In my talk, I will summarize the most important facts on EBV and MS and emphasize the elements that are still unknown and should be subject of future research to get any idea about the pathogenicity of this herpes virus in MS. I will touch upon the limitations of reported studies and conclude by discussing possible therapeutic approaches that target EBV and may be considered once causality can be definitely proven one day.



Niels Hellings is Director of the Biomedical research Institute (BIOMED) and Professor Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences of Hasselt University (COI).

He graduated as master in bioscience-engineering at the Catholic University of Leuven (1996) and consequently obtained a PhD in immunology at Hasselt University (2000). He was visiting postdoctoral scientist at McGill University (Montréal), before returning to Hasselt University to set up his own research group. Currently, Niels Hellings is director of the biomedical research institute (BIOMED) and professor in immunology at the faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences at Hasselt University.

He heads the neuroimmune connections & repair (NIC&R) lab that includes 2 tenure track professors, 3 post docs, 15 predocs and 2 technicians and published 110 peer reviewed articles (H factor: 35; >3800 cites). The NIC&R lab focuses on immune mediated central nervous system damage and repair. To study this, a wide variety of immunological and glial cell assays are applied including functional human in vitro assays and high dimensional flow cytometry. Apart from human in vitro studies, experimental animal models of neuroinflammation and -repair are up and running.

In addition to basic research, collaborative valorization projects are set up with Flemish and international Biotech and Pharma. Niels Hellings is board member of the Belgian Immunological Society and Flanders Vaccine vzw. strategies using non invasive brain stimulation to potentiate the effects of drugs and neurorehabilitation.rofessor 



  • Directors

  • Author(s)

    Prof Niels Hellings
  • Country

  • Release Date

    April 25, 2023
  • Views


Do subscriptions auto-renew?
Your subscription will automatically renew on a monthly or yearly basis, depending on the plan you have chosen. If you cancel your plan, it will not renew at the end of your subscription cycle. It will end once the period you have paid for is over.
What happens if I subscribe as a healthcare practitioner if I am not a healthcare practitioner?
If you subscribe as a healthcare practitioner and it is proven that you are not a healthcare practitioner, you will be banned immediately from the community and could be liable to prosecution.
How can I cancel my trial or subscription?
You can cancel your trial or subscription in your account settings. If you cancel during the trial period you will not be charged.