Kees van Heeringen is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Gent, Chef de Clinique at the Department of Psychiatry of the University Hospital Gent and Director of the Unit of Suicide Research at the University of Gent, Belgium. He has carried out research on suicidal behaviour for many years in local, national and international projects, and acts as a consultant for the development of national and international suicide prevention programmes. His research interests are the epidemiology of suicidal behaviour and the study of the relationship between biological and psychological characteristics of suicidal behaviour. He is a member of the International Academy of Suicide Research, the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the American Association of Suicidology. He has published more than 90 papers in national and international journals, and is editor or co-editor of four books, including The International Handbook of Suicide and Attempted Suicide.