Wim Annaert - Biography#

Wim Annaert is a full professor at the KU Leuven and a groupleader at the VIB-Center for Brain and Disease, Leuven, Belgium. He obtained his PhD at the university of Antwerp (Belgium) in 1993 and then moved to Yale University (US, HHMI) for a two-year postdoc under the supervision of Prof. R. Jahn. In 1996 he obtained a FWO-postdoc to move back to Belgium and join the Center for Human Genetics (KU Leuven) where he initiated his research on presenilin biology and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2001 he became an independent investigator and started to build out my research team. In 2008 he was appointed Associate Professor at KU Leuven and in 2012 promoted to Full Professor. Between 2007 and 2015 he was assigned Adjunct Department Director of VIB. In my research I combines state-of-the-art (live) super-resolution up to electron microscopy with molecular biology to unravel how the cellular transport machineries are exploited to regulate intramembrane proteolysis through PSEN/γ-secretase.

The principle of ‘seeing is believing’, pushed him to keep upfront newest microscopy developments: parallel to his research, he has installed a complete Light Microscopy facility that, in 2012, merged with EM into the VIB-BioImaging Core. He has introduced live confocal up to super-resolution (SIM, PALM/dSTORM) and SIM-CLEM in their Center over the past 15 yrs: this entails a cumulated 4.5M€ on investments through infrastructure grant applications as PI. His research resulted thus far in 135 peer-reviewed research papers and reviews including many high impact papers, an H-index of 54 and >13,000 citations.

He has been training a large number of young scientists and contributed to their advancement towards scientific independency.

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