Philippe graduated as a biologist at the Free University of Brussels where he also obtained his PhD in 1986. His career at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp started in the same year under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Nestor Van Meirvenne. Since then, P. Büscher has been involved in human and animal African trypanosomiasis, mainly focusing on improved diagnosis. In 1998, he became head of the Unit of Parasite Diagnostics. With his team, including Congolese and Ethiopian PhD students, he developed new formats for parasitological, serological and molecular diagnostics for African trypanosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Particular attention is paid to the applicability of these tests in settings with poor infrastructure resources. He participated in the development of the first generation rapid serodiagnostic tests for gambiense sleeping sickness.
The Unit of Parasite Diagnostics technically and scientifically supports research institutes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Ethiopia. The Unit is a World Health Organization Collaborating (WHO) Centre for Research and Training on Human African Trypanosomiasis and is World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Reference Center for Surra (T. evansi). P. Büscher is co-ordinator of the OIE Non-Tsetse Transmitted Animal Trypanosomosis Network. P. Büscher co-authored more than 170 articles in peer reviewed journals and more than 10 book chapters.
Philippe is steering committee member of the project on African trypananosomiasis of GALVmed. He co-ordinated one European Commission project (Tryleidiag) and participated in six others (Trypadvac, Trypadvac 2, Neurotryp, ChagasEpiNet, NIDIAG, Euroleishnet).