Life Sciences Company Visit 2011

A background in human biology is also applicable to veterinary research

On Thursday 8 December 2011 we visited the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI) in Lelystad to explore opportunities in the area of human and veterinary infectious diseases. Also Immuno Valley and MSD Animal Health gave us insight into their activities.


Human and veterinary infectious diseases


On Thursday 8 December PCDI and the Amsterdam BioMed Cluster organized a Life Sciences Company Visit for you to explore opportunities in the area of human and veterinary infectious diseases.

What organizations are active in this field? What is their core business and... what challenges are there for you, as a early career researcher? Know that your background in human biology is applicable to veterinary research. And if not in research, what other positions are there for PhDs in Life Sciences? Join us and you may discover opportunities you were previously unaware of!

PCDI and Amsterdam BioMed Cluster invited young researchers over to the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI)  who hosted a visit to their lab and presentations by Immuno Valley and MSD Animal Health. Insights into the activites of these organizations were given. Participants could see by themselves what difference or similarities there are between laboratories here and those in academia. Human and veterinary infectious diseases do not stand apart from each other. Think of Influenza, Rift Valley Fever, Crimean Congo: these are emerging zoonotic diseases that can be passed from animals to humans. Human and veterinary infectious diseases, certainly a challenging field of research. Something to consider for your next career step?

The company visit is interactive, many opportunities to fire all your questions at the presentations and networking drinks. MSD Animal Health also presented job openings at this company visit.



  • Click here for a photo impression of our visit

  • Click here to read the comment by one of the participants

  • Review the presentations
    - Hans de Smit (Head R&D, MSD Animal Health)
    - Erwin van den Born (Project Leader, MSD Animal Health)




14:00 - 14.05    

Lilian Menu, director PCDI
Cindy Halberstadt, manager business development CVI

14:05 - 14:30

Introduction to human and
veterinary infectious diseases
Liana Steeghs
deputy director Immunovalley
14:30 - 15:20

the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI)   

Cindy Halberstadt, manager business development CVI
Astrid de Greeff, project leader/scientist CVI
15:20 - 16:05

Lab visit, coffee break,
CVI corporate movie
16:05 - 16:55 Vaccine Research & Development
in Biosciences Center Boxmeer
MSD Animal Health
Hans de Smit, Head of R&D Virology
Erwin van den Born, R&D Project leader
16:55 - 17:30

Networking drinks

colleagues of CVI, MSD Animal Health
and Immuno Valley




Life Sciences Company Visit


Thursday 8 December 2011
14:00 – 17.30


Central Veterinary Institute
Edelhertweg 15
8219 PH Lelystad

For those arriving by train:
Transport from/to Lelystad railway station will be arranged

For who? Postdocs and final year PhD students

Free of charge
but registration via PCDI is required

How? Registration is now closed 
More info?  Inquire via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Background information

The Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR (CVI)

The Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR (CVI) is a Dutch knowledge organization with an history of more than 100 years resulting in an outstanding international reputation in the field of animal health. CVI is an independent research institute and the national reference laboratory for the Netherlands that, operating in the field of veterinary science, contributes to protecting the health of animals and indirectly also humans. Core activities feature research for government and commercial companies and advise on developing effective policies with regard to control animal and zoonotic diseases. CVI has often found to be the initiator of new research programmes with huge impact and has generated know-how to enable the eradication of various animal infectious diseases by the development of new and unique vaccine concepts. Important current topics of research and advice are the diagnostics of animal diseases, the development and validation of new diagnostic techniques, the development and testing of vaccines and the implementation of effective programmes to monitor, safeguard against and control of animal diseases.

The staff of about 250 highly qualified people undertakes research for a large group of clients. The research varies from specialist to multi-disciplinary. For research the focus is always on the concepts of quality and independence. The Central Veterinary Institute is part of Wageningen UR and has an annual turnover of about 36 million euro.

Immuno ValleyImmuno Valley

Immuno Valley connects human and animal health.

Immuno Valley brings research, scientists and companies together, following the ‘One Health’ concept: treating animal and human health as a single field of study. By combining knowledge from both the human as the veterinary field, innovative scientific opportunities can be created, which can ultimately lead to the development of new products to prevent and control infectious diseases. Immuno Valley has build a network of excellence in infectious disease detection and control. The Immuno Valley consortium consists of approximately 30 knowledge institutions, multinational pharmaceutical companies and SMEs.

Immuno Valley promotes cooperation, innovative strength and valorisation awareness as a prerequisite for an open, results-oriented business and science network. With the viPps project (valorisation and innovation in public-private partnerships), Immuno Valley established interactions within and between partners of the consortium. The viPps project is based on 3 pillars:

  • Connect: improving the interaction and the exchange of knowledge between the Immuno Valley partners, e.g. through network meetings and the proprietary Immuno Valley knowledge database

  • Coordinate: the establishment and management of public-private partnerships based on specific One Health-related themes, with the goal to generate new intellectual property (IP), innovative prototype products and viable spin-off companies

  • Commercialize: valorisation of IP that is generated in the field of infectious diseases and immunology by marketing in collaboration with technology transfer offices.

MSD Animal Health
website NL

Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck.

MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals.

The location in Boxmeer is, within the Dutch pharmaceutical industry, the largest center in the area of biologcial R&D and manufacturing. With more then 500 employees with a HBO or higher education (on total of 1700), is MSD Animal Health in Boxmeer an excellence center in the are of research, development, technology, manufacturing and marketing of vaccines.  This important location is named the Biosciences Center Boxmeer within the MSD Animal Health organization.