Veerle Baekelandt, PhD’s general research interest concerns the molecular pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related disorders. Her overall approach consists of generating novel cellular and rodent models based on mutations involved in familial forms of PD, with the aim to better reproduce the pathogenesis of the disease than the existing models. Better disease models and insights in the molecular pathogenesis are required to develop novel causal therapeutic strategies that can cure or slow down the disease. The lab is using viral vector technology, stereotactic neurosurgery, and non-invasive molecular imaging as core technologies.
Dr. Baekelandt is recognized internationally for the application of viral vectors in rodent brains to model and study PD. The main research focus is on the role of α-synuclein aggregation in PD and related synucleinopathies and on LRRK2, a kinase linked to PD. Her lab has also contributed to recent research on ATP13A2 and ATP10B.