Professor E. Decuypere obtained his master in zoology in 1969, his master in agronomy in 1972 and his PhD in agricultural sciences in 1979. Meanwhile he was working from 1974-1977 in Rwanda as responsible for agricultural practice and applied research in a developmental project.
He did a post-doc (1979-1980) at Rutgers University (New-Jersey, USA) and at Arizona State University (USA). From 1979 onwards he was a research fellow of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO), then research director at NFWO until 1988.
From 1988 onwards he was full senior professor and head of the laboratory of Physiology of Domestic Animals at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), and extra-ordinary professor at the University of Wageningen (Netherlands) and collaborator of the Wageningen Business School for post-university education., as well as guest professor at the Sao Paulo University (Brazil) from 1996-2004.
His main teaching duties are ‘physiology of farm animals’, ‘production and reproduction physiology’, ‘general animal husbandry’, ‘poultry production’ and ‘biotechnology in farm animals’.
During his career he published more than 850 papers in international peer reviewed journals and many book chapters and review papers.
He supervised 45 PhD-students and headed about 35 scientific projects (both national and international) , mainly in the field of fundamental and applied poultry research. The main research themes were incubation and embryo development in the chicken,, endocrinology and energy metabolism in broilers, broiler breeder reproduction. Each of these themes linked fundamental as well as applied research topics, e.g. fundamental studies on epigenetics in the chick embryo as well as angiogenesis in the embryo as a model in relation to cancer research was linked, or emanated in research topics about better incubation conditions or tools for detecting fertility and predicting hatchability.
Fundamental studies on endocrinology of growth and reproduction and control of feed intake and energy metabolism were matched with studies on ascites in broilers, dwarfism in broiler breeders, improvement of lighting schedules ,moulting in laying hens, understanding broiler breeder reproduction and paradox.
He received several awards for his scientific work, amongst them the T. Newman Memorial Award, The Gordon Memorial Award and lecture, Doctor Honoris Causa from the Veterinary University of Budapest, Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS fellow), the Belgian Francqui chair, the Farner medal for Avian Endocrinology.
He is also chairman of the Centre of Sciences and Ethics at the KU Leuven-university, vice chairman of the Interfaculty Centre for Agricultural History and was former Vice-dean of the Faculty of Bio-engineering Sciences.