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Liliane Schoofs

Liliane Schoofs
Naamsestraat 59 - box 2465
3000 Leuven
room: 00.56

tel: +32 16 37 92 34 or +32163 30283
fax: +32163 23902

Our research team is interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying neurobiology and behavior. We try to unravel the pathways that modulate learning and memory processes, reproduction, aging and disease. Most of our research focuses on a special class of messenger molecules in the brain, the neuropeptides. Discovering how and where these messengers act, and therefore how the nervous system organizes most of our behaviors, helps us to better understand animal physiology, evolutionary conservation and divergence, and biochemical principles regulating life. We use cell cultures, a microscopically small worm (C. elegans), and a few insect species (e.g. the honey bee Apis mellifera, the fruit fly D. melanogaster and the tsetse fly G. morsitans) in our research. The C. elegans nervous system, for example, is only 302 neurons large, which is unbelievably tiny in comparison to the human brain alone. This mini-brain is however very convenient to study basic principles of the nervous system, which can later be verified in more complex organisms as well: the worm’s brain then serves as a blueprint for similar processes in other organisms. In addition, we are part of an international consortium developing body-on-chip methods. If these can be made functional, they will revolutionize toxicity screens and significantly reduce the number of animals (mostly mice) needed e.g. during drug development.

Selected publications

  • Watanabe J., Hattori M., Berriman M., Hall N., Solano P., Aksoy S., Hide W., Touré Y., Attardo G., Darby A., Toyoda A., Hertz-Fowler C., Larkin D., Cotton J., Sanders M., Swain M., Quail M., Inoue N., Ravel S., Srivastava T., Sharma V., Warren W., Wilson R., Suzuki Y., Lawson D., Hughes D., Megy K., Masiga D., Mireji P., Hansen I., Van Den Abbeele J., Benoit J., Bourtzis K., Lehane M., Obiero G., Robertson H., Jones J., Zhou J., Field L., Friedrich M., Nyanjom S., Telleria E., Caljon G., Ribeiro J., Acosta-Serrano A., Ooi C., Rose C., Price D., Haines L., Sim C., Pham D., Denlinger D., Geiser D., Omedo I., Winzerling J., Peyton J., Marucha K., Jonas M., Meuti M., Rawlings N., Zhang Q., Macharia R., Michalkova V., Dashti Z., Baumann A., Gäde G., Marco H., Caers J., Schoofs L., Riehle M., Hu W., Tu Z., Tarone A., Malacrida A., Kibet C., Scolari F., Koekemoer J., Willis J., Gomulski L., Falchetto M., Scott M., Fu S., Sze S., Luiz T., Weiss B., Walshe D., Wang J., Wamalwa M., Mwangi S., Ramphul U., Snyder A., Brelsfoard C., Thomas G., Tsiamis G., Arensburger P., Rio R., Macdonald S., Panji S., Kruger A., Christoffels A., Benkahla A., Balyeidhusa A., Msangi A., Okoro C., Stephens D., Stanley E., Mpondo F., Wamwiri F., Mramba F., Siwo G., Githinji G., Harkins G., Murilla G., Lehväslaiho H., Malele I., Auma J., Kinyua J., Ouma J., Okedi L., Manga L., Aslett M., Koffi M., Gaunt M., Makgamathe M., Mulder N., Manangwa O., Abila P., Wincker P., Gregory R., Bateta R., Sakate R., Ommeh S., Lehane S., Imanishi T., Taylor T., Osamor V., Kawahara Y. 2014. Genome sequence of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans): vector of African trypanosomiasis. Science. vol.344 (6182) , pp. 380-386
  • Beets I., Janssen T., Meelkop E., Temmerman L., Suetens N., Rademakers S., Jansen G., Schoofs L. 2012. Vasopressin/Oxytocin-related signaling regulates gustatory associative learning in C. elegans. Science. vol.338 (6106) , pp. 543-545
  • De Haes W., Frooninckx L., Van Assche R., Smolders A., Depuydt G., Billen J., Braeckman B., Schoofs L., Temmerman L. 2014. Metformin promotes lifespan through mitohormesis via the peroxiredoxin PRDX-2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. vol.111 (24) , pp. E2501-E2509
  • Hayakawa E., Menschaert G., De Bock P., Luyten W., Gevaert K., Baggerman G., Schoofs L. 2013. Improving the identification rate of endogenous peptides using electron transfer dissociation and collision-induced dissociation. Journal of Proteome Research. vol.12 (12) , pp. 5410-5421
  • Schoofs L., Beets I. 2013. Neuropeptides control life-phase transitions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. vol.110 (20) , pp. 7973-7374