11th International Conference on Hantaviruses, 1-4 September 2019 Leuven

The ICH2019 Organizing Committee is proud to invite you to the 11th International Conference on Hantaviruses. Held every three years, it is the premier conference for virologists, interested in the biology of hantaviruses. The 2019 conference will be held in the historical city of Leuven, in Belgium: as the venue is close to Brussels, it provides easy access for European and intercontinental travelers. The conference offers scientists from around the world an opportunity to meet, and hear the most up to date advances on a broad area of topics in hantavirology, HFRS and HPS. The organizing committee has selected an international group of dynamic speakers to present plenary talks on topics, including epidemiology, ecology, vaccines and therapeutics, pathogenesis, and more. Students, post-docs and scientists are encouraged to present their recent findings at the conference.


Important Dates

The 11th International Conference on Hantaviruses will start on Sunday 1 September 2019 and will end on Wednesday 4 September 2019.

We are happy to welcome you in Leuven in



General registration information

You will find an overview of the registration fees in the table below. All registration fees are quoted and will be charged in Euro.

The fee includes you participation in:

  • The ICH 2019 Symposium (4 days)
  • Welcome reception on Sunday 1 September
  • Guided walk in the 13th century Great Beguinage of Leuven musically accompanied by the beguinage carillon, on Monday 2 September
  • Reception at the historical town hall of Leuven on Tuesday 3 September
  • All catering breaks from Monday 2 September to Wednesday 4 September (coffee breaks and lunches)

Note that the registration fee does not include accommodation!



Early Bird












You are eligible for the student fee if you are a Bachelor student, Master student or a PhD-student in the academic year 2018-2019. A certificate of enrolment or a letter signed by your supervisor needs to be provided by e-mail (hantavirus2019@kuleuven.be).

Supplementary options:

  • Belgian beer tasting: €15,- (Monday evening 2 September)
  • Conference dinner: €50,- (Tuesday evening 3 September)

Accompanying persons:

You can choose to bring an accompanying person to the social activities. Please note that accompanying persons can only participate in the social events, not the scientific meeting.

Accompanying person fee:
  • Welcome reception (2 hours reception with Cava and 6 variations of fingerfood): €20,- (Sunday evening 1 September)
  • Guided walk in Great Beguinage of Leuven + beguinage carillon: €15,- (Monday 2 September)
  • Belgian beer tasting: €15,- (Monday evening 2 September)
  • Reception at historical town hall of Leuven (1 hour reception with beers, nuts and crisps): €15,- (Tuesday 3 September)
  • Conference dinner: €50,- (Tuesday evening 3 September)

Note that the registration fee does not include accommodation!


Conference dinner

The Conference Dinner is traditionally a highlight in the social program of all ICHs and provides an opportunity for the participants to relax and enjoy meeting outside the scientific program. The Conference Dinner of the ICH 2019 will be hosted at the Faculty Club on Tuesday 3 September, situated within the premises of the Grand Beguinage, which is a well preserved and completely restored historical quarter containing a dozen of streets in the south of downtown Leuven. About 3 hectares (7.5 acres) in size, with some 300 apartments in almost 100 houses, it is one of the largest still existing beguinages in the Low Countries. The site has been recognized by UNESCO world heritage since 2000.

The Conference Dinner is not included in the congress fee and can be booked as a supplementary option. The Conference Dinner costs €50,- which covers food and drinks, and will take place after the reception in the historical town hall.

Belgian Beer Tasting

Belgium has a lot to offer, amazing beer being one of them. That's why we have set up a beer tasting evening at the Irish College on Monday September 2. In 2 hours we will cover the basics of brewing, Belgian style beers, we will show you the proper way to taste beers as well as what beer to drink when and with what. Before, during and after the beer theory, you will be able to taste 4 different Belgian beers for free and (optional) follow us for more beers to taste.
If you tried Stella Artois, Heineken and Budweiser, but did not like them that much, then this beer experience is for you! You will discover what Belgium has to offer: sweet fruity beers, surprising sour brews, strong 9% Monks made ales, interesting pils & other interesting homebrew wonders!

The Belgian Beer Tasting is not included in the congress fee and can be booked as a supplementary option. The activity costs €15,- which covers the beer (of course!) and some finger food.

Registration deadlines

The registration deadlines are:

  • Monday 15 June 2019: deadline early bird registration
  • Thursday 15 August 2019: deadline online registration

Registration process

  • Confirmation of registration and payment:
    You will receive a first email with an automatic confirmation that the registration form has been received. After payment you will receive a second email that we have received your payment. We remind you that should either of the above emails not reach you, either the payment or the registration did not go correctly. If problems occur, contact hantavirus2019@kuleuven.be as soon as possible for help.

  • Payment information:
    All payments should be made in advance in euro (€) within 14 days after your registration. If you need an invoice, select 'bank transfer' in the final step of your online registration and contact hantavirus2019@kuleuven.be. The invoice will be sent to you per email, including corresponding payment instructions. Please do not pay before receiving the invoice. The invoice includes specific payment instructions. If you have already paid your registration by credit card or bank transfer, you will still be able to receive a proof of payment, indicating the amount, however, it will no longer be possible to receive an official invoice.

  • Cancellation policy
    Unpaid reservations will be cancelled by the KULeuven Conference and Events Office 4 weeks after they have been made. The conference office must be notified of cancellation of registration:

    • Until 1 July 2019: registration payment will be refunded in full
    • From 2 July 2019 until 2 August 2019: 50% of the registration payment will be refunded
    • From 3 August 2019 no refunds will be made

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission is closed. Notification letters will be sent by 22 May 2019


ICH2019 Program

Invited Speakers

Antti Vaheri

Ho Wang Lee Award Lecture

'Effect of hantaviruses on endothelial cells'

Boris Klempa

J. Dalrymple Award Lecture

'Hantaviruses: of mice, shrews, moles, bats and man'

Connie S. Schmaljohn

Past ISH President lecture

'Hantavirus vaccines: Pragmatism and Promises'

Jan Clement

ISH President Lecture

'Proteinuria is an early but rapidly evanescent diagnostic sign in probably all hantavirus infections'

Jason Botten

Monday September 2

'Host factors that regulate virus infectivity'

Nicole Tischler

Monday September 2

'The hantavirus surface: molecular insights into glycoprotein dynamics and cell entry'

Jonas Klingström

Tuesday September 3

'Immune response during human hantavirus infection: immunopathogenesis and keys to treatments'

Richard Yanagihara

Wednesday September 4

'The genetic diversity, geographic distribution and evolutionary history of loanviruses and mobatviruses'

Kartik Chandran

Wednesday September 4

'Unravelling and inhibiting the entry mechanisms of hantaviruses'

Conference Venue, Accommodation and Travel

ICH 2019 will take place at the Irish College, downtown Leuven.


Conference Venue

The Irish College of St Anthony was founded in 1607 by Florence Conry, Archbishop of Tuam, as an exile institution for the training of Irish Franciscan priests. A bull of foundation was acquired from Pope Paul V. The foundation stone of the current building was laid in 1617. Funding came from Isabella Clara Eugenia, wife and co-ruler with Archduke Albert. It was one of the main centres of Irish learning and the preservation of Irish intellectual culture during penal times. Closed down by the French invaders in 1794, the buildings housed first a seminary and later a boys' school during the 19th century. In 1925 the Irish Franciscans again acquired the site, using it for their own educational purposes until 1983. They then transferred the property to the Leuven Institute of Ireland in Europe, a secular academic institution. The Irish college now reflects a specialized residential conference facility. Magnificence and historical atmosphere are interwoven with full comfort and a unique technical infrastructure.

Irish College Conference Hall
Irish College Conference Hall
Irish College
Irish College



We advise not to wait too long to book your accomodation in Leuven!

  • Staying at the Conference venue - Irish College

    At the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, a total of 59 spacious single or double bedrooms are available for ICH2019 attendees. The bedrooms are spread out over the 3 wings of the building and overlook the green garden, the inner garden & courtyard with views on the 17th Century Chapel. All of the bedrooms are equipped with hardwood floors and have en-suite bathroom with shower. Some rooms have oak wood beams. The whole building, including the bedrooms and terraces offers free WiFi access.

    A buffet breakfast is served daily in the hotel's common breakfast room. In the evening guests can enjoy a drink at the on-site bar.

    Rooms can be booked single or double.

    Irish College Conference Hall
    Irish College Conference Hall
    Irish College Conference Hall

    Follow this link to book your room in the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe.

  • Other ICH2019 Hotels

    Rooms in several other hotels (Begijnhof Congres Hotel, Pentahotel Leuven, Martin's Klooster Hotel, and Ibis Leuven Centrum) have been reserved for the conference. Follow this link to book a room at ICH2019 rates in one of these hotels. Rooms in these hotels are limited!


A list of other hotels and B&B's in Leuven can be found here. Furthermore, there are 2 youth hostels in Leuven: De Blauwput and Leuven City Hostel.


Travel to Leuven

  • By Plane

    • Brussels Airport (25 km from Leuven)
      Leuven is approximately 15 minutes by train from the National Airport Brussels Airport. There is an easy-to-reach train station in the airport (Brussels Airport-Zaventem), with trains directly to Leuven. The station is underneath the airport and is accessed via lifts and escalators in the arrivals hall. All train schedules can be found on the website of the Belgian Railways. Several car hire companies also operate from Brussels Airport.

    • Brussels South - Charleroi Airport (90 km from Leuven)
      From Brussels South Charleroi Airport, you need to take the train and bus to Leuven. There are busses from the airport to Charleroi railway station and trains from Charleroi to Brussels and then to Leuven. Several car hire companies also operate from Charleroi Airport.

  • By Train

    The train station is situated very close to the town centre. Leuven is a 30-minute train ride from the Brussels South train station (Brussel Midi), and 35 minutes from Liège. All train schedules can be found on the website of the Belgian Railways.

  • By Car

    Leuven is located at the junction of two motorways: the E40 and the E314. The 'P' signposts will guide you to the different car parks. An overview of the car parks in Leuven can be found here.


What to do in Leuven?

The attractive historical centre of Leuven is traffic-free. The rest of the city centre is subdivided into 5 districts. In each district a loop directs traffic from the ring road to a city centre parking garage and back to the ring road.

The city of Leuven is located in the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium, approximately 25 kilometers east of Brussels. Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium and has nearly 97.000 inhabitants.

More information about the city and must-see places when you come to ICH2019, can be found at Leuven Tourism or download this City Guide with great tips.

Organization and Sponsors


Local Organizing Committee

Prof. Marc Van Ranst - Clinical Virology, Rega Institute, KU Leuven.
Prof. Piet Maes - Zoonotic Infectious Diseases unit, Rega Institute, KU Leuven.
Dr. Jan Clement - Clinical Virology, Rega Institute, KU Leuven - President of the International Society for Hantaviruses (ISH).
Prof. Herwig Leirs - Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp.

Scientific Committee

Dr. Jan Clement, Clinical Virology, Rega Institute, KU Leuven, Belgium - President ISH.
Prof. Jin-Won Song, Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Korea University, Korea - President-elect ISH.
Prof. Anna Papa, Department of Microbiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece - Secretary ISH
Prof. Detlev H. Krüger, Institute of Medical Virology, University Hospital Charité, Berlin, Germany.
Prof. Piet Maes, Zoonotic Infectious Diseases unit, Rega Institute, KU Leuven, Belgium.
Prof. Herwig Leirs, Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp, Belgium.
Dr. Connie S. Schmaljohn, United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrict, MD, USA.

Sponsors and Partners

Life Sciences Research Partners (formerly called D Collen Research Foundation) was founded by Emeritus Professor Désiré Collen in 1988. The purpose of Life Sciences Research Partners is, without any profit making intentions, to carry out, promote and support scientific research in general and biomedical and biotechnological research in particular. The specific activities by which the purposes of the association will be realized are among others the awarding of research grants, research mandates and traveling scholarships, the organization of scientific congresses and symposia, financial support of publications, and any other related activities that support or help to propagate the advancement of science. In addition, the association may conduct any other activity, that contributes directly or indirectly to its non-profit purpose, including commercial and profitable activities within legal boundaries, on condition that the profit thereof be exclusively spent on the non-profit purposes of the association.

Situated in Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven has been a centre of learning for nearly six centuries. Founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V, KU Leuven bears the double honour of being the oldest existant Catholic university in the world and the oldest university in the Low Countries. Today, it is Belgium's largest university. As a leading European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven offers a wide variety of international master’s programs, all supported by high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary research. The university also offers degree programs at campuses in 11 Belgian cities, including Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.