Ben Nemery is holder of degrees in medicine (Leuven, 1977), occupational medicine (Louvain, 1980) and toxicology (MSc, University of Surrey, 1982; and PhD, Council for National Academic Awards, UK, 1986). He has been affiliated with the Medical Faculty of the KU Leuven since 1987. He founded the research unit of Lung Toxicology, a joint venture between the departments of Pneumology and of Occupational, Environmental and Insurance Medicine. He was promoted to full professor in 1998, and was chair of the KU Leuven Department of Public Health (2005-2011). He teaches toxicology and occupational medicine, mainly at postgraduate level. He holds a weekly outpatient clinic for occupational pulmonary disorders.

His research involves experimental as well as clinical-epidemiological studies in the mechanisms of lung disease caused by occupational and environmental pollutants. Recently he has concentrated on occupational and environmental health in the South, especially Africa. He is co-author of over 300 publications in international biomedical journals and has contributions in more than 40 books. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium and various other national and international scientific bodies, including the European Respiratory Society, where he held leadership positions