Nelly Saenen is a doctor-assistant in the Biodiversity & Toxicology group at the UHasselt Centre for Environmental Sciences (CMS) and supports the Environmental & Molecular Epidemiology research within CMS. Her research interests situate within an interdisciplinary setting of epidemiology and toxicology to explore “Environment and Health”-related topics. Her current research focuses on the toxicokinetics of micro- and nanoplastics on the human intestine. In addition, she is active as a consultant at Sciensano, Unit Risk & Health Impact Assessment, where she is co-promoter of a PhD fellowship.

She earned her PhD in Biology from Hasselt University. There she investigated the association between air pollution exposure and cognitive performance in children, with a strong focus on the molecular processes that could influence (neuro)development. She contributed to 31 scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals, and she has been awarded 5 prizes for her doctoral research. Furthermore, she is involved in several international consortia for micro- and nanoplastic research.