Bart De Strooper Lab

Research focus

​We investigate the basic mechanisms causing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease starting from the genetic forms of these disorders. 
For Alzheimer’s disease we focus on the secretases which are proteases that cleave the amyloid peptide from the amyloid precursor protein. The amyloid peptide is the main constituent of the plaques in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The secretases are not only important drug targets, but they are also involved in the regulation of important signaling processes most notoriously Notch signaling.

For Parkinson’s disease we investigate the effect of mutations in the genes Pink1, Lrrk2 and Parl-1 on brain function.

We use  in all our work transgenic approaches  primary cultures of neurons and biochemistry, sophisticated imaging and molecular biology to address our questions. We are also strongly committed to collaboration with industry to generate novel drugs for these devastating disorders.

Publications

PINK1 Loss of Function Mutations Affect Mitochondrial Complex I Activity via NdufA10 Ubiquinone UncouplingMorais Epifânio V, Haddad D, Craessaerts K, De Bock P, Swerts J, Vilain S, Aerts L, Overbergh L, Grünewald A, Seibler P, Klein C, Gevaert K, Verstreken P, De Strooper BSCIENCE, e-pub, e-pub, 2014
beta-arrestin 2 regulates Abeta generation and gamma-secretase activity in Alzheimer's diseaseThathiah A, Horré K, Snellinx A, Vandewyer E, Huang Y, Ciesielska M, de Kloe G, Munck S, De Strooper BNATURE MEDICINE, 19, 43-9, 2013
The role of G protein-coupled receptors in the pathology of Alzheimer's diseaseThathiah A, De Strooper BNATURE REVIEWS NEUROSCIENCE, 12, 73-87, 2011
gamma-Secretase heterogeneity in the Aph1 subunit: relevance for Alzheimer's diseaseSerneels L, Van Biervliet J, Craessaerts K, Dejaegere T, Horré K, Van Houtvin T, Esselmann H, Paul S, Schäfer M, Berezovska O, Hyman B, Sprangers B, Sciot R, Moons L, Jucker M, Yang Z, May P, Karran E, Wiltfang J, D'hooge R, De Strooper BSCIENCE, 324, 639-42, 2009

News

New discoveries place lack of energy at the basis of Parkinson’s Disease

20/03/2014 - Neuroscientists Vanessa Moraïs and Bart De Strooper from VIB and KU Leuven have demonstrated how a defect in the gene Pink1 results in Parkinson’s disease.

New insights contradict promising Alzheimer's research

23/05/2013 - Technical comment of Bart De Strooper on the article about bexarotene as a potential Alzheimer’s drug published in Science approximately a year ago.

Prevention is better than cure. Also for Alzheimer’s disease!

01/02/2013 - On Monday 4 February, Dennis J. Selkoe and five other “brain teasers” will receive an honorary doctorate from the KU Leuven.

LRRK2 control of synapse - a delicate balancing exercise

14/12/2012 - Until now, it was not clearly understood how LRRK2 regulated synaptic function necessary in the treatment of Parkinson’s. This situation has now been remedied by Samer Matta from the Bart De Strooper lab, in collaboration with the Patrik Verstreken lab.

Leuven research opens new pathway for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

02/12/2012 - ​Scientists from VIB and KU Leuven have discovered a new target molecule for the development of a treatment against Alzheimer’s disease.

Too much protein HUWE1 causes intellectual disability

31/08/2012 - ​2 to 3 % of the children are born with an intellectual disability. VIB researchers at KU Leuven show that increased production of the HUWE1 protein is the cause in some patients.

Double gold for VIB and K.U.Leuven - Bart De Strooper and Peter Carmeliet awarded ERC grants totaling 5 million euro

18/11/2010 - VIB researchers Peter Carmeliet and Bart De Strooper have both been awarded Advanced Grants from the European Research Council. ERC Advanced Grants are the most prestigious European research grants, spanning a period of 5 years.

VIB announces collaboration in the battle against neurodegenerative disorders

11/10/2010 - VIB and Janssen R&D Neuroscience entered into an open-innovation collaboration to develop novel therapeutics for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

Ruelens-Van Gorp Foundation and VIB-K.U.Leuven establish chair for research into the neurological disorder dystonia

14/09/2010 - For the first time in Belgium, a private partner and an academic research institution have established a fund for research into a disease.

Amount of gene surplus determines severity of mental retardation in males

10/12/2009 - Researchers have discovered a new explanation for differences in the severity of mental illness in males. The more excess copies of a certain gene, the more serious the handicap.

Progress toward an Alzheimer’s drug that saves brain cells

19/04/2009 - VIB scientists connected to the K.U.Leuven have identified a molecule that can form the basis for a new therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. This is the first step toward a medicine that could actually stop the progress of Alzheimer’s.

New target for medicine to combat Alzheimer’s - VIB scientists confirm protein’s key role

12/02/2009 - VIB scientists connected to the Center for Human Genetics (K.U.Leuven) have demonstrated that a particular protein is extremely well suited to be a target for a new medicine against Alzheimer’s disease.

Revealing the regulating mechanism behind signal transduction in the brain

16/09/2008 - Revealing the regulating mechanism behind signal transduction in the brain

Incorrectly cleaved protein leads to schizophrenia

14/07/2008 - Incorrectly cleaved protein leads to schizophrenia

Ground-breaking new insight into the development of Alzheimer’s disease

22/04/2008 - Ground-breaking new insight into the development of Alzheimer’s disease

Bart De Strooper receives prestigious USD 200,000 Alzheimer Prize

29/02/2008 - Bart De Strooper (VIB, K.U.Leuven) has been playing a prominent role in researching the processes that underlie Alzheimer's disease and now he receives the MetLife Foundation’s USD 200,000 Alzheimer Prize.

Discovery of new cause of mental retardation simplifies search for treatments

24/01/2008 - Discovery of new cause of mental retardation simplifies search for treatments

Scientists identify protein with a crucial role in cell death

14/07/2006 - Scientists have now discovered the function of the PARL protein. By studying mice that are unable to produce PARL, the researchers have discovered the significance of this protein in controlled cell death

Bart De Strooper

Bart De Strooper

Research area(s)

Model organism(s)

Bio

​MD: Univ. of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 1985
PhD: Univ. of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 1992
Postdoc: EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany 1994
VIB Group leader since 1999
EMBO Member
Scientific Director, Dept. of Molecular and Developmental Genetics since 2007

Contact Info

VIB Center for the Biology of DiseaseKU LeuvenO&N 4, 6e verdCampus GasthuisbergHerestraat 49, bus 602 3000 LEUVENRoute description