Rose Goodchild Lab

Research focus

We investigate the pathophysiology of dystonia; an incapacitating neurological movement disorder of poorly understood origin. Dystonia is characterized by abnormal involuntary twisting movements that are debilitating and disabling. Few treatment options are available for patients with dystonia, even though this is a chronic and permanent condition.

DYT1 dystonia is the most common hereditary form of dystonia and is caused by a three base pair deletion in TOR1A that encodes torsinA. We have identified that torsin proteins regulate cellular lipid homeostasis and membrane biogenesis.  We focus on understanding the importance of this cellular activity for neuronal development and function.  We also investigate the relationship between lipid metabolism and other forms of dystonia and related neurological diseases. 
In addition to long-term projects established on torsin function, we also examine other genetic forms of dystonia, including SGCE-DYT11 myoclonus dystonia and GNAL-dystonia. We explore our questions using cell culture and mouse models, as well as fly models for evolutionarily conserved genes such as TOR1A and SGCE.

This research is supported by Foundation Dystonia Research (FDR).

> video on basic research on dystonia - Rose Goodchild - ©VIB, 2015​​


The ins and outs of endoplasmic reticulum-controlled lipid biosynthesisJacquemyn J* Cascalho A* Goodchild REMBO REPORTS, 18, 1905-1921, 2017* or °: authors contributed equally
Abnormal striatal plasticity in a DYT11/SGCE myoclonus dystonia mouse model is reversed by adenosine A2A receptor inhibitionMaltese M Martella G Imbriani P Schuermans J Billion K Sciamanna G Farook M Ponterio G Tassone A Santoro M Bonsi P Pisani A* Goodchild R*NEUROBIOLOGY OF DISEASE, 108, 128-139, 2017* or °: authors contributed equally
Membrane Lipids in Presynaptic Function and DiseaseLauwers E* Goodchild R* Verstreken P*NEURON, 90, 11-25, 2016* or °: authors contributed equally
Torsins Are Essential Regulators of Cellular Lipid MetabolismGrillet Micheline Dominguez Gonzalez Beatriz Sicart A Pöttler Maria Cascalho Ana Catarina Billion Karolien Hernandez Diaz Sergio Swerts Jef Naismith T. V Gunko Natalia Verstreken Patrik Hanson P. I Goodchild RoseDEVELOPMENTAL CELL, 38, 235-47, 2016
Access of torsinA to the inner nuclear membrane is activity dependent and regulated in the endoplasmic reticulumGoodchild R* Buchwalter A Naismith T Holbrook K Billion K Dauer W Liang C Dear M Hanson P*JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE, 128, 2854-65, 2015* or °: authors contributed equally

Job openings


New breakthrough in understanding dystonia

09/08/2016 - Researchers at VIB-KU Leuven have managed to get a clearer view on the roots of dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary twisting movements.

Rose Goodchild

Rose Goodchild

Research area(s)

Model organism(s)


​PhD, MRC: Newcastle Univ, UK 1996-1999
Postdoc: Columbia University Medical Centrer, NY, US, 1999-2003
Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University Medical Center, NY, US, 2003-2007
Assistant Professor, Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, TN, US, 2007-2011
VIB Group Leader since January 2012​​

Contact Info

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease ResearchO&N 4, 6e verdCampus GasthuisbergHerestraat 49, bus 602 3000 LEUVENRoute description