Address: Dr. Elie Lambottestraat 151 Bus 2.2
1030 Schaerbeek, Belgium
Mobile: +32 495 84 05 13
Date of birth: 27 April 1987
Place of birth: Geel, Belgium
Driving license: B
2014 – Now: Postdoctoral researcher at the research group of Functional Genomics and Proteomics – KU Leuven, Belgium
2010 – 2014: PhD in Biochemistry and Biotechnology – KU Leuven, Belgium
Practicum supervisor ‘Zoology’, 1st Bachelor of Bioscience Engineering
Supervisor of 4 Bachelor and 2 Master dissertations
2010 – 2014: PhD in Biochemistry and Biotechnology – KU Leuven, Belgium
Research stay abroad (March – May 2014): Lab of Prof. Gerd Gäde, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Thesis: Unraveling neuropeptidergic signaling systems in the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans (Supervisor: Prof. Liliane Schoofs, KU Leuven; Co-supervisor: Prof. Jan Van Den Abbeele, Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp)
2008 – 2010: Master of Biochemistry and Biotechnology – KU Leuven, Belgium
Erasmus exchange (September 2009 – July 2010): Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Thesis: The effect of variation of living conditions on the expression of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) in the terrestrial isopod Porcellio laevis (Supervisor: Prof. Xavier Bellés, Co-supervisor: Dr. Maria-Dolors Piulachs, Institut de Biologia Evolutiva [CSIC-UPF], Barcelona, Spain)
Graduated with distinction
2005 – 2008: Bachelor of Biochemistry and Biotechnology – KU Leuven, Belgium
Theses: Circadian rhythms: Characterization of the pigment dispersing factor receptor of the honey bee Apis mellifera (Supervisor: Prof. Liliane Schoofs)
Construction of a dsRNA construct for RNAi of a putative octopamine receptor of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Supervisor: Prof. Jozef Vanden Broeck)
Windows, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), GraphPad Prism, Peaks7, TIBCO Spotfire,...
Ad hoc reviewer: Peptides, 2014 – present
PLOS ONE, 2015 - present
Hobbies: sports, reading, music and travelling
Active in youth club (2003 – 2011).
Participation in the development of youth work in Ladesti (Romania, 2008 – 2009)
Available on request.
Caers, J., Janssen, T., Van Rompay, L., Broeckx, V., Van Den Abbeele, J., Gäde, G., Schoofs, L., Beets, I. (2015). Characterization and pharmacological analysis of the adipokinetic hormone signaling system of the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, manuscript submitted for publication.
Impact Factor: 3.42 – Peer Reviewed.
Caers, J., Boonen, K., Van Den Abbeele, J., Van Rompay, L., Schoofs, L., Van Hiel, M.B. (2015). Peptidomics of neuropeptidergic tissues of the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, manuscript accepted for publication.
Impact Factor: 3.2 – Peer Reviewed.
Caers, J., Peymen, K., Van Rompay, L., Van Hiel, M.B., Van Den Abbeele, J., Schoofs, L., Beets, I. (2015). Characterization of the neuropeptide F (NPF) signaling system in the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans. Peptides, manuscript ready for submission.
Impact Factor: 2.01 – Peer Reviewed.
Van Rompay, L., Borghgraef, C., Beets, I., Caers, J., Temmerman, L. (2015). Genetic regulators of yolk protein production in C. elegans: questioning the relevance of abundant yolk. Scientific reports, manuscript submitted for publication.
Impact Factor: 5.58 – Peer Reviewed.
Van Rompay, L., Temmerman, L., Caers, J., Schoofs, L. (2015). CKR-1, a neuroendocrine regulator of yolk protein production in C. elegans. Peptides, manuscript ready for submission.
Impact Factor: 2.01 – Peer Reviewed.
Caers, J., Peymen, K., Suetens, N., Temmerman, L., Janssen, T., Schoofs, L., Beets, I. (2014). Characterization of G protein-coupled receptors by a fluorescence-based calcium mobilization assay. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 89, e51516.
Impact Factor: N/A – Peer Reviewed.
Watanabe, J., Hattori, M., Berriman, M., Lehane, 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., Taylor, T., 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., Christoffels, A., 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, 344 (6182), 380-386.
Impact Factor: 31.48 – Peer Reviewed.
Caers, J., Verlinden, H., Zels, S., Vandersmissen, H.P., Vuerinckx, K., Schoofs, L. (2012). More than two decades of research on insect neuropeptide GPCRs: an overview. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 3, art. nr. 151.
Impact Factor: N/A – Peer Reviewed.
Caers, J., Peeters, L., Janssen, T., De Haes, W., Gäde, G., Schoofs, L. (2012). Structure-activity studies of Drosophila adipokinetic hormone (AKH) by a cellular expression system of dipteran AKH receptors. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 177 (3), 332-337.
Impact Factor: 2.674 – Peer Reviewed.
Boerjan, B., Cardoen, D., Verdonck, R., Caers, J., Schoofs, L. (2012). Insect omics research coming of age. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 90, 440-455.
Impact Factor: 1.346 – Peer Reviewed.
Folguera, G., Bastías, D., Caers, J., Rojas, J., Piulachs, M.D., Bellés, X., Bozinovic, F. (2011). An experimental test of the role of environmental temperature variability on ectotherm molecular, physiological and life-history traits: Implications for global warming. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 159 (3), 242-246.
Impact Factor: 2.371 – Peer Reviewed.
Caers, J., Beets, I., Van Den Abbeele, J., Gäde, G., Schoofs, L. (2015) Unraveling neuropeptidergic signaling systems in the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans. Workshop: From Genomes to Functions: Analyzing the Glossina genome cluster. Muguga, Kenya, 15-21 March 2015, Invited Speaker – Oral presentation.
Caers, J., Beets, I., Van Den Abbeele, J., Gäde, G., Schoofs, L. (2015) Unraveling neuropeptidergic signaling systems in the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans. Invertebrate Neuropeptide Conference. Bagan, Myanmar, 15-19 February 2015, Oral presentation.
Caers, J., Janssen, T., Beets, I., Van Den Abbeele, J., Gäde, G., Schoofs, L. (2014). The adipokinetic hormone signaling system as target to interrupt the energy metabolism of tsetse flies. International Symposium on Molecular Insect Science. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13-16 July 2014, Poster presentation.
Caers, J., Peymen, K., Broeckx, V., Van Den Abbeele, J., Gäde, G., Marco, H., Schoofs, L. (2013). Identification and characterization of neuropeptidergic signaling systems of the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans. International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology. Barcelona, Spain, 15-19 July 2013, Poster presentation.
Caers, J., Janssen, T., Beets, I., Marco, H.G., Van Den Abbeele, J., Gäde, G., Schoofs, L. (2012). The undiscovered segment of neuropeptides and their receptors in the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans. Conference of European Comparative Endocrinologists. Zürich, Switzerland, 21-25 August 2012, Oral presentation.
Caers, J., Lindemans, M., Beets, I., Janssen, T., Peeters, L., Van Den Abbeele, J., Schoofs, L. (2011). The AKH receptor: A suitable target to combat tsetse flies? International Symposium of Molecular Insect Science. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2-5 October 2011, Poster presentation.
Caers, J., Lindemans, M., Beets, I., Janssen, T., Meelkop, E., Temmerman, L., De Haes, W., Frooninckx, L., Peeters, L., Van Rompay, L., Schoofs, L. (2011). The AKH receptor: a suitable target to combat malaria mosquitoes and tsetse flies? Knowledge for Growth. Ghent, Belgium, 5 May 2011, Poster presentation.
Postdoctoral Researcher Leuven, België
Since October 2014
Currently I work as a postdoctoral researcher on an ERC (European Reserach Council) grant with the aim to determine the role of neuropeptides in learning and memory for which we use the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. I am responsible for the high throughput screening of neuropeptide receptors to identify their activating ligands with a reverse pharmacology approach. This includes managing of two lab technicians, analyzing and reporting data, the purchase of new devices and contact with representatives.
PhD student Leuven, België
October 2010 --- September 2014
As a PhD student, I studied the neuropeptidergic signaling systems of the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans. Interactions of neuropeptides with their specific receptors induce cellular responses that affect almost all physiological and developmental processes in insects. Studying these systems help us to understand the biology of insects, but results could also be extrapolated to other animals as many of these systems are conserved throughout evolution. Moreover, interfering with these systems may result in detrimental effects on the fitness of insects and as such may become targets for the developmental of new, species-specific, insecticides.
My PhD research was largely based on the outcome of a whole genome sequencing project of Glossina performed by the International Glossina Genome Initiative (IGGI) consortium. During my PhD I became part of the IGGI consortium, a group of almost 150 international researchers, and was responsible for the identification and annotation of genes encoding neuropeptides and neuropeptide receptors. This work required strong bioinformatics skills. The results of my work are included in the Glossina genome manuscript published in Science in 2014. Besides the in silico work, my project focussed on wet lab work to unravel the Glossina peptidome with a peptidomics approach and to functionally characterize three selected neuropeptigeric signaling systems.
To perform the peptidomics approach I made use of analytical techniques like high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. For the functional characterization of the selected signaling systems I used a broad variety of molecular biology techniques like PCR, cloning, DNA sequencing, electrophoresis, transformations, transfections,... To identify neuropeptides that activate a receptor we used a reverse pharmacology approach. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to determine the spatial and temporal transcript profiles of the genes involved in the neuropeptidergic signaling systems of interest. In vivo techniques like RNA interference (RNAi) or injections of neuropeptides were performed to determine the functions of the signaling systems of interest.
The in vivo studies were partly performed in the lab of prof. Gerd Gäde in Cape Town, South Africa, were I stayed for two months. My PhD research resulted in 6 first author papers, of which one is under review and one is ready for submission, and five publications with my co-authorship, of which one is under review and one is ready for submission. I gave oral presentations of my work on the CECE (Conference of European Comparative Endocrinologists) 2012 in Zürich, Switzerland, on the INC (Invertebrate Neuropeptide Conference) 2015 in Bagan, Myanmar and on a Glossina genome workshop organized in 2015 in Muguga, Kenya. Furthermore, I presented my work by poster presentations at Knowledge for Growth in 2011 in Ghent, Belgium, at the International Symposium of Molecular Insect Science in 2011 and 2014 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and at the ICCE (International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology) 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.
AdaptabilityTrustSociabilityOrganizationProblem solvingOptimismKindnessInterest in knowledgeIndependenceEfficiencyCritical thinkingCollaborationAttention to detailApproachabilityAnalytical thinkingWillingness to compromise
AntibodiesBiochemistryBioinformaticsBiotechnologyCell biologyCell CultureData AnalysisDNADNA extractionDNA sequencingEndocrinologyGeneticsImmunohistochemistry (IHC)EnglishHPLCIn VitroIn VivoInfectious diseasesLaboratoryMicrobiologyMolecular & Cellular BiologyMicrosoft ExcelMicrosoft Officemolecular biologyMolecular CloningPCRPhenotype PowerPointProblem-solving methods and troubleshootingProtein ExpressionProtocolQuantitative PCR (qPCR)R&DPeptidesScientific WritingSOPWestern BlottingTransfectionStatistics
Skills and Expertise
Analyze data Create SOPs Guide students Interpret data Control data Molecular Diagnostics Search literature on clinical trials Receptor Pharmacology Report data Write papersAdjust processes and methodsAnalyze dataAnalyze proteinAssist with experimentsArchive documentationAttend seminarsCollaborate with principal investigatorCollaborate with project teamCommunicate with investigatorConduct literature searchesConduct university research Conduct research at universitiescoordinating research projectsData analysisData miningDesign scientific projects (in biology)Manage laboratory proceduresManuscript preparation and reviewOperate research equipment Develop protocolsOral presentation Assure medical qualityPresent data at congressPublication of articlesReport dataTranslate protocol into packaging and labeling requirementsUse western blotting techniqueResearch at universitiesWork under specific instructionsWrite papersStatistical analysis
Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from KU Leuven in 2014
Master in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from KU Leuven in 2010
Training and Certification
Mass spectrometry data processing in 2013 Training
Summer Course: Beneficial, pest and vector insects - Physiology, Ethology and Control in 2012 Training
Mass spectrometry data processing in 2013 Certification
Expert has 6 publications (Will be avalible with full profile)