Lucía Chávez-Gutiérrez, PhD

Flanders Institute for Biotechnology
Flanders, Belgium

Lucía Chávez-Gutiérrez holds a PhD in the sciences with a major in biochemistry from the National University of Mexico. During her doctoral studies, she was trained as a protease enzymologist with a strong background in structural biology. Her fascination for proteases motivated her postdoctoral studies in the field of gamma-secretase intramembrane proteases in the laboratory of Dr. Bart De Strooper at the University of Leuven in Belgium. Dr. Chávez-Gutiérrez is group leader at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research and associate professor at the University of Leuven. 

Her mechanistic work on this group of proteases has settled down a long-standing "loss-of-function versus gain-of-function" debate on familial Alzheimer's disease etiology (Chávez-Gutiérrez et al., EMBO 2012; Szaruga et al., JEM 2015 and Veugelen et al., Neuron 2016) and key mechanisms underlying the effects of Alzheimer's disease–linked pathogenic mutations in gamma-secretase intramembrane proteases (Szaruga et al., Cell 2017), enzymes that normally break down proteins.