Sebastian Proost, PhD

Sebastian Proost, PhD

Bioinformatics | Data Science




Python12 years 
Data Science9 years 
Flask6 years 
HTML & CSS12 years 
Linux12 years 
JavaScript5 years 
R6 years 


Currently working as a Senior PostDoc at the VIB-KULeuven Center for Microbiology (Leuven, Belgium) studying the human gut microbiome and how it connects with the host's health.

After getting a Masters degree in Biotechnology (UGent, Belgium) obtaining a PhD in Bioinformatics (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) made it possible to unify an interest in life sciences with computer engineering. Over the course of several PostDocs (e.g. at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology) I have ventured more and more towards software development, setting up web platforms to explore large datasets while leveraging data science and machine learning methods to pick them apart further.

Full bio available under experience & education.


The common theme throughout my research is leveraging large datasets to tackle biological questions. This goes hand in hand with using modern (web) technology to create intuitive tools which allows domain experts to explore these data. Over the years I've been involved in the development of various platforms to study genome evolution, gene function, and microbial ecosystems. These have been used in a number of projects e.g. the Apple genome project, the Flemish Gut Flora Project, ... A full list of tools is avialable under software.

More details what I've been working on recently? Check out the media and publications pages!

Less serious topics I work on, outside of work (for fun or to hone my programmings skills), can be found on my blog

Highlights (full list)

1 patent, 41 publications, 8039 citations. H-index : 29

Means and methods to diagnose gut flora dysbiosis and inflammation. Patent: WO2022073973A1 (2022)

J. Raes, S. Proost, G. Falony, S. Vieira-Silva, N. J. Timpson, D. A. Hughes

Google PatentsFPO

Mood disorders in higher education in Flanders during the 2nd COVID-19 wave: Prevalence and help-seeking: Findings from the Flemish College Surveys (FLeCS). Journal of Psychiatric Research (2023)

E. Bootsma*, L. Jansen*, G. Kiekens, W. Voorpoels, P. Mortier, S. Proost, I. van de Poel, K. Jacobs, K. Demyttenaere, J. Alonso, R. C. Kessler, P. Cuijpers, R. P. Auerbach and R. Bruffaerts

Journal of Psychiatric Research

Long-term life history predicts current gut microbiome in a population-based cohort study. Nature Aging (2022)

J. Si, J. F. Vázquez-Castellanos, A. C. Gregory, L. Decommer, L. Rymenans, S. Proost, J. Centelles Lodeiro, M. Weger, M. Notdurfter, C. Leitner, P. Santer, G. Rungger, J. Willeit, P. Willeit, R. Pechlaner, F. Grabherr, S. Kiechl, H. Tilg and J. Raes

Nature Aging

The effect of oral iron supplementation on the gut microbiota, gut inflammation, and iron status in iron-depleted South African school-age children with virally suppressed HIV and without HIV. European Journal of Nutrition (2022)

C. Goosen*, S. Proost*, R. Y. Tito, J. Baumgartner, S. L. Barnabas, M. F. Cotton, M. B. Zimmermann, J. Raes and R. Blaauw

Springer Link

Statin therapy is associated with lower prevalence of gut microbiota dysbiosis. Nature (2020)

S. Vieira-Silva, G. Falony, E. Belda, T. Nielsen, J. Aron-Wisnewsky, R. Chakaroun, S. K. Forslund, K. Assmann, M. Valles-Colomer, T. T. D. Nguyen, S. Proost, ... , K. Clément and J. Raes


CoNekT: an open-source framework for comparative genomic and transcriptomic network analyses. Nucleic Acids Research (2018)

S. Proost, M. Mutwil