Patrick Callaerts Lab

Research focus

The research of the VIB Laboratory of Behavioral and Developmental Genetics, KU Leuven aims to elucidate the genetic, neurobiological and developmental basis of aggression, an important social behavior, in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and to understand what causes aberrant aggressive behavior. The insights gained from this work are being used to (i) identify genes and mechanisms involved in human psychiatric disorders and novel therapeutic avenues for use in the psychiatric clinic and (ii) to unravel social behavior in pest insects and develop integrated pest management strategies. A second major research interest of the laboratory concerns neuronal differentiation and function for which we focus on the insulin-producing cells (IPCs) in the Drosophila brain. Our work has revealed that there may be extensive evolutionary conservation of the regulatory mechanisms acting in IPCs and in pancreatic beta cells. Consequently, we study the role of the homologs of the relevant Drosophila genes in pancreas development and function and their potential importance in the etiology of diabetes.


MIR137 variants identified in psychiatric patients affect synaptogenesis and neuronal transmission gene setsStrazisar M* Cammaerts S* Van Der Ven K Forero D Lenaerts A Nordin A De Almeida Souza L Genovese G Timmerman V Liekens A De Rijk P Adolfsson R Callaerts P Del-Favero JMOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY, 20, 472-481, 2015* or °: authors contributed equally
TDP-43 Loss-of-Function Causes Neuronal Loss Due to Defective Steroid Receptor-Mediated Gene Program Switching in DrosophilaVanden Broeck Lies Naval Sanchez M Adachi Y Diaper D Dourlen P Chapuis J Kleinberger Gernot Gistelinck Marc Van Broeckhoven Christine Lambert J Hirth F Aerts S Callaerts Patrick Dermaut BartCell Reports , 3, 160-72, 2013
Automated protein-DNA interaction screening of Drosophila regulatory elementsHens Korneel Feuz J. D Isakova A Iagovitina A Massouras A Bryois J Callaerts Patrick Celniker S. E. Deplancke BNATURE METHODS, 8, 1065-70, 2011
Complex genetic architecture of Drosophila aggressive behaviorZwarts Liesbeth Magwire M. M Carbone M. A Versteven Marijke Herteleer Liesbet Anholt R. R. Callaerts Patrick Mackay T. F.PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 108, 17070-5, 2011
Conserved role for the Drosophila Pax6 homolog Eyeless in differentiation and function of insulin-producing neuronsClements Jason Hens Korneel Francis Carmen Schellens Ann Callaerts PatrickPROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AME, 105, 16183-8, 2008

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Fruit fly steps in to fight human disease

22/06/2009 - VIB scientists have successfully introduced genes coding for a variant of the Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, into fruit flies.