Emile Van Schaftingen was trained as an MD, and started doing research in the laboratory of HG Hers and Louis Hue while still a student. He developed his whole career at the ICP, now known as the de Duve institute.With his two mentors he discovered fructose-2,6-bisphosphate, a major regulator of glycolysis in 1980. In 1989, he discovered ‘glucokinase regulatory protein’, which confers allosteric regulation to a major enzyme in the control of glucose metabolism in humans. With his team, he elucidated several inborn errors of metabolism, including the deficiencies of phosphomannomutase (by far the most prevalent glycosylation defect) and of enzymes of serine biosynthesis (both with J Jaeken, Kuleuven); the causes of L-2- hydroxyglutaric aciduria and of glycogen storage disease type Ib. He discovered deglycation, a new protein repair process and identified numerous new enzymes involved in intermediary metabolism, including those that synthesize N-acetylaspartate, an abundant compound in brain, and carnosine, a very abundant histidine derivative in muscle. He was director of the de Duve institute from 2004 to 2019 and professor of biochemistry at UCLouvain till becoming emeritus in 2018.