I became fascinated with the model organism of Drosophila already in my first steps as neuroscience student, during my Master thesis in the laboratory of Prof. Karl-Friedrich Fischbach (Univ. Freiburg, Germany), where I investigated the Robo-Slit system in axonal pathfinding. During my PhD in the laboratory of Dr. David Gubb (CIC bioGUNE, Spain) I continued using this model to explore the role of necrotic – a serine-protease inhibitor whose closest human homologue is the acute phase serpin α1-antitrypsin – in the innate immune response.
After my PhD I joined the group of Prof. Elisabeth Knust (Max Plank Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden), where I dissected a mechanism by which postsynaptic complexes can control presynaptic homeostasis (Curr. Biol. 2013) in the retina. I enjoyed very much the field of synapse homeostasis and neurodegeneration and I moved to Belgium to work in the laboratory of Prof. Patrik Verstreken (VIB/KU Leuven, Belgium) where I made important contributions to the field of synaptic function and neurodegeneration (Neuron 2016). During this time, I participated in teaching activities and supervised and leaded a small team at the same time I developed a network working with local and international collaborators to keep dissecting the role of autophagy at the synapse ((EMBO J 2017).
Since October 2018 I am team leader at the Institute for Neurodegenerative disease (IMN) where I obtained a junior IdEx chair. My team aims to understand why previously healthy neurons start to die during the early onset of neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore we are exploring molecular mechanism of local protein quality control like autophagy and exosome release at synaptic compartments and in the gut brain circuit. To reach this goal we using multidisciplinary approaches including CLEM, super-resolution microscopy, live imaging, giant unilamellar vesciles (GUVs) in Drosophila and human iPSC derived neurons.
The role of lipids in autophagy and its implication in neurodegeneration.
Sergio Hernandez-Diaz, Sandra-Fausia Soukup.
CST. 2020-07-13. 4(7) : 167-186.
Parkinson’s disease: convergence on synaptic homeostasis
Sandra‐Fausia Soukup, Roeland Vanhauwaert, Patrik Verstreken.
EMBO J.. 2018-07-31. 37(18) : e98960.
The SAC1 domain in synaptojanin is required for autophagosome maturation at presynaptic terminals.
Roeland Vanhauwaert, Sabine Kuenen, Roy Masius, Adekunle Bademosi, Julia Manetsberger, Nils Schoovaerts, Laura Bounti, Serguei Gontcharenko, Jef Swerts, Sven Vilain, Marina Picillo, Paolo Barone, Shashini T Munshi, Femke MS de Vrij, Steven A Kushner, Natalia V Gounko, Wim Mandemakers, Vincenzo Bonifati, Frederic A Meunier, Sandra‐Fausia Soukup, Patrik Verstreken.
EMBO J.. 2017-03-22. 36(10) : 1392-1411.
EndoA/Endophilin-A creates docking stations for autophagic proteins at synapses
Sandra-Fausia Soukup, Patrik Verstreken.
Autophagy. 2017-02-15. 13(5) : 971-972.
A LRRK2-Dependent EndophilinA Phosphoswitch Is Critical for Macroautophagy at Presynaptic Terminals.
Sandra-Fausia Soukup, Sabine Kuenen, Roeland Vanhauwaert, Julia Manetsberger, Sergio Hernández-Díaz, Jef Swerts, Nils Schoovaerts, Sven Vilain, Natalia V. Gounko, Katlijn Vints, Ann Geens, Bart De Strooper, Patrik Verstreken.
Neuron. 2016-11-01. 92(4) : 829-844.
Endophilin-A Deficiency Induces the Foxo3a-Fbxo32 Network in the Brain and Causes Dysregulation of Autophagy and the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System.
John D. Murdoch, Christine M. Rostosky, Sindhuja Gowrisankaran, Amandeep S. Arora, Sandra-Fausia Soukup, Ramon Vidal, Vincenzo Capece, Siona Freytag, Andre Fischer, Patrik Verstreken, Stefan Bonn, Nuno Raimundo, Ira Milosevic.
Cell Reports. 2016-10-01. 17(4) : 1071-1086.
Fast and efficient Drosophila melanogaster gene knock-ins using MiMIC transposons.
Sven Vilain, Roeland Vanhauwaert, Ine Maes, Nils Schoovaerts, Lujia Zhou, Sandra Soukup, Raquel da Cunha, Elsa Lauwers, Mark Fiers, Patrik Verstreken.
G3. 2014-10-08. 4(12) : 2381-2387.
PIWIL1 protein power targets tau therapy
Sandra-Fausia Soukup, Patrik Verstreken.
Nat Neurosci. 2014-03-01. 17(3) : 334-335.
DLin-7 Is Required in Postsynaptic Lamina Neurons to Prevent Light-Induced Photoreceptor Degeneration in Drosophila
Sandra-Fausia Soukup, Shirin Meher Pocha, Michaela Yuan, Elisabeth Knust.
Current Biology. 2013-07-01. 23(14) : 1349-1354.
Uptake of the Necrotic Serpin in Drosophila melanogaster via the Lipophorin Receptor-1
Sandra Fausia Soukup, Joaquim Culi, David Gubb.
PLoS Genet. 2009-06-26. 5(6) : e1000532.