Gudrun Koppen

Tribute to Gudrun Koppen

With deep grief we let you know that our good colleague and dear friend Gudrun Koppen passed away on 31 January 2024. Very courageous and keeping a positive spirit, she finally lost an unfair batle against cancer.

Gudrun was born on 23 January 1969.

She graduated as an Engineer in Chemistry and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Ghent. She obtained a PhD from the Free University of Brussels in Applied Biological Sciences focused on Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis/Comet Assay for plants: a tool to asses DNA integrity.

We had the pleasure to know Gudrun for many years. Since 1999 she worked at the Flemish Institute of Technological Research (VITO, Belgium).

She was a talented scientist, asking the right scientific questions, fascinated by the secrets of biology and exploring them analytically with ratio and care.

She was one of the founders of the first Flemish Human biomonitoring project and organized the first Belgian project for DEMOCOPHES. She was an internationally recognized expert in the use of genetic toxicology data in chemical hazard identification and mode of action. She had a deep interest in molecular epidemiology, biomarker development in the areas of genotoxicity, inflammation and oxidative stress. She published more than 140 manuscripts.

She took the lead of many projects and guided PhD and master students successfully towards their dissertation.

She was an active member of the International Comet Assay Working Group, Belgian Environmental Mutagen Society , member of the advisory board of the European Respiratory Cluster Antwerp, vice chair of hCOMET COST action.

Gudrun was a wonderful and very much loved colleague. She was as a very active and inspiring woman.
She was mother of three children. She was a top athlete, an athletics trainer for children and enjoyed sports. 
She admired life and nature. Her energy was contagious. She was above all a very good friend.
We will keep her in our hearts forever.


VITO team