Sara Calafate

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Synapse
  • Plasticity
  • Homeostasis
  • Sleep

After graduating at University of Minho in Applied Biology in 2010, I enrolled in the master program of Molecular and Cellular Biology at University of Coimbra that year. In 2011 I spent 10 months at Janssen Pharmaceutica (Beerse, Belgium) to develop my master thesis on “Tau seeding models as a platform for Tau aggregation and clearance study”. After that, I was invited to stay at Janssen Pharmaceutica, in collaboration with and Katholieke Universiteit (Leuven, Belgium) for a Ph.D. From 2012 to 2016 I worked on my PhD thesis “Modulation of Tau Pathology Propagation” and published two first author papers. After that, in 2016, I joined the labs of Prof. Bart de Strooper and Joris de Wit at VIB-Center for Brain and Disease in Leuven, where I studied role of sleep in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and brain homeostasis in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, I am a Postdoc at ICVS under an ERA Fellowship program, and will further expand these topics of research.

Scientific Highlights

2023-2025: ERA Postoctoral fellowship – MCH/COX2-depend regulation of neuronal function and
neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease (Postdoc salary)

2019-2022: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) Senior Postdoctoral fellowship – “Unveiling the molecular correlates of early synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease” (Postdoc salary)

2019: VIB Technology Watch Team Project – “Spatial transcriptomics to characterize border interneurons” (21000€)

2019-2021: Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant Program (AARF) – “EC-CA1 network dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease” (175000€)

2018-2019: Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek (SAO) – Pilot Grant: “Dissecting a pathological framework for Alzheimer’s disease at the circuit-level”” (75000€)


Lipids in Alzheimer’s disease

Here we propose to study how brain regional lipid composition contributes to susceptibility to neurodegenerative disorders. We use different approaches to tackle this question, from mass…

Read More