Niels was awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF) to start his own research project at an American University in continuation of his veterinary medicine studies. Niels moved to the USA in 2019 to start his PhD at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, associated to the University of Maryland, where he focused on investigating bacteriophage-derived enzymes (endolysins) as promising novel antimicrobials for bovine mastitis. Upon termination of his one-year doctoral research stay in the USA, Niels successfully received additional personal funding from Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) to finish his interdisciplinary PhD project as an interuniversity collaboration between the groups of Prof. dr. Rob Lavigne (KULeuven), Prof. dr. Yves Briers (UGent) and Prof. dr. Evelyne Meyer (UGent). During his FWO mandate from 2020 to 2023, Niels contributed to international conferences, published several first-authored manuscripts and managed to file two patents, one full patent in Europe and one provisional patent in the USA. The latter was selected as finalist for the ‘Invention of the Year’ award by the University of Maryland. Niels has tutored multiple veterinary students as well as junior PhD students, which resulted in the start of two new endolysin-related projects at UGent by acquiring more funding. Niels has recently received a postdoctoral scholarship from the Swedish 'Kronprinsessan Lovisas Förening För Barnasjukvård / Stiftelsen Axel Tielmans Minnesfond' to proceed with his academic career in the team of Prof. dr. Federico Iovino at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Niels continues to engineer endolysins, now aiming to tackle pneumococcal meningitis in children and newborns.