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Funded Studies

Peter Vangheluwe, PhD

Associate Professor, Principal Investigator at KU Leuven

Location: Lueven Belgium

Peter Vangheluwe, PhD’s research focuses on lysosomal transport systems that are implicated in Parkinson’s disease (PD) to understand the role of lysosomal dysfunction in PD. He’s appointed as Associate Professor at KU Leuven in Belgium, and is head of the Laboratory of Cellular Transport Systems. Using biochemical and molecular cell biology approaches, he characterizes new P-type transport ATPases that regulate ion homeostasis and lipid distribution in the cell. His team discovered the function of two orphan transporters that are genetically implicated in PD. He described that ATP13A2/PARK9 works as a lysosomal polyamine transporter, and that ATP10B operates as a lysosomal glucosylceramide exporter. These breakthroughs provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of PD, and fuel a drug discovery pipeline for lysosomal transport modulators that runs together with pharmaceutical companies. He published >60 peer-reviewed publications and received two awards by the Queen Elisabeth Foundation for Neurosciences. Lab website:

Associated Grants

  • Identification and Characterization of Small Molecule Activators of ATP13A2 for Parkinson’s Disease Therapy


  • IMPACT-PD - Implications of Polyamine and Glucosylceramide Transport in Parkinson’s Disease


  • Compromised Lysosomal Lipid Flippase Activity in Parkinson’s Disease


  • Is ATP13A2 a Lysosomal Lipid Flippase that Affects Alpha-synuclein Membrane Interactions?


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