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Vrije Universiteit Brussels


VUB is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. For more than 180 years VUB has helped build a better society as an innovative, free inquiring and critical thinking university. A never-ending quest for knowledge, insights and enlightenment form the golden thread in all we do in education, research and social commitment. At the same time we continue to advance our very personal and democratic approach that enables all the members of the VUB-community to grow, so they can successfully take up their roles in the world of today and tomorrow.

Professor Joachim Cohen

Prof. Dr. Joachim Cohen is a medical sociologist and professor of the End-of-Life Care Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University. His program of research focuses on end-of-life care and related issues or trends. He graduated in 2001 as a Master in Sociology and in 2007 as a PhD in Social Health Sciences. His research has been awarded with the Kubler Ross Award for Young Researchers and the Young Investigator Award from the European Association of Palliative Care 2010. Both prizes were awarded to him, mainly because of his large-scale cross-national research on end-of-life care. Prof. Dr. Cohen has published over 90 articles in international peer reviewed journals and co-edited the Oxford University Press book: “A public health perspective on end of life care”.

Yuliana Gatsolaeva

Yuliana has obtained Master Degree in International (Public) Law at the "State University - Higher School of Economics" (Moscow, Russia) and started her career in 2005 as an international tax consultant in one of the biggest consulting companies of Russia. Later (end of 2007) she moved to Belgium and continued working for the same firm in Brussels. During her experience with the Big Four (Global Consulting Companies) and local companies in Russia, Belgium and France not only she was involved in taxation, immigration and labor law consulting, but was also responsible for organizing events, managing accounts and representing clients in front of the authorities. Using that as a stepping stone Yuliana started looking more into direction of project management. In 2018 Yuliana joined the End-of-Life Care Research Group and became a part of PACE and DIAdIC project management teams.

Aline De Vleminck

Aline De Vleminck (born 1986) is a post-doctoral researcher working at the End-of-Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) & Ghent University. She studied Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and obtained her Master’s degree in 2010. In 2011, she started to work as a junior researcher at the End-of-Life Care Research Group, Ghent University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Aline conducted research on advance care planning in general practice, supervised by Prof. dr. Robert Vanderstichele, Prof. dr. Luc Deliens, Prof. dr. Koen Pardon and Prof. dr. Dirk Houttekier. This study was part of the “Flanders study to Improve End-of-Life Care and Evaluation Tools” (FLIECE project) which was supported by a grant from the Flemish government agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT). This study has resulted in six articles in international peer-reviewed journals, of which five have been published and one is under review, two national publications and one book chapter. The results of this study have also been presented at a number of international and national conferences and symposia. In 2015, she was selected for a Fulbright Scholarship Award. She was granted by the Fulbright Scholar Program to conduct research on hospice care for dementia patients and a qualitative study on advance care planning in patients with young-onset dementia. She conducted this research at the National Palliative Care Research Center, located at Icahn School of Medicine in New York under the supervision of Prof. dr. R. Sean Morrison. This Fulbright Scholarship provided a unique opportunity to gain research experience abroad and work with leading researchers in the field of palliative care. Aline De Vleminck currently works at the End-of-Life Care Research Group as a post-doctoral researcher on a two-year follow-up project of her PhD dissertation regarding the initiation of advance care planning in general practice. This project is supported by ‘Kom op Tegen Kanker’. She has a strong wish to devote her future scientific career to establishing better advance care planning practice and policy in Belgium and Europe, to improve education and training in this field and to develop new research strategies with a particular focus on vulnerable groups in the field of advance care planning.

Sigrid Dierickx

Sigrid Dierickx (°1990) is a postdoctoral researcher at the End-of-Life Care research Group of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University. She holds a master’s degree in Sociology (2013, Ghent University) and Health Care Management and Policy (2014, KULeuven). In 2014 she joined the End-of-Life Care Research group as a doctoral researcher. Sigrid conducted research on the euthanasia practice in Belgium, supervised by prof. dr. Kenneth Chamber, prof. dr. Luc Deliens and prof. dr. Joachim Cohen. In 2018 she obtained a joint PhD in Social Health Sciences (VUB) and Health Sciences (Ghent University) with a dissertation entitled “Euthanasia practice in Belgium: A population-based evaluation of trends and currently debated issues”. In addition to studying medical end-of-life decisions, Sigrid is currently involved in a study of supportive and palliative day care centers in Flanders and two studies aimed at developing and evaluating psychosocial and educational interventions for people with advanced cancer and their informal caregivers.


Professor Peter Hudson RN; PhD

Peter is the Director of the Centre for Palliative Care which is an academic unit based at St Vincent’s Hospital and a Collaborative Centre of the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is a Professor (Honorary) at The University of Melbourne and is Professor (Honorary) at Vrije University (Belgium). Peter is a registered nurse with approximately 30 years experience in palliative care incorporating practice, education and research. He is a former vice president of Palliative Care Australia and past member of the board of directors of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care . He is a board director for the newly formed International Neuropalliative Care Society and Chair of the European Association for Palliative Care’s International Palliative Care Family Caregiver Research Collaboration. He is co-lead of a multi-country European union funded palliative care clinical trial , a past recipient of the Premier's Award for translating evidence into practice and a USA Fulbright scholar.

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