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Prof. Pierre Vanderhaeghen

Prof. Pierre Vanderhaeghen is currently Professor and Group Leader at the VIB KULeuven Center for Brain and Disease Research, Belgium.
He graduated as MD /PhD at Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, followed by postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.

His research is focused on the mechanisms linking development and evolution of the cerebral cortex.

His lab pioneered pluripotent stem cell-based models of cortical development, including human-mouse xenotransplantation, which revealed the key influence of cell-intrinsic properties of neural stem cells and neurons on human-specific brain features.

His most recent scientific contributions include the identification of the prominent role of human-specific genes in cortical development and function, and the discovery that mitochondria and metabolism act as key regulators of the prolonged development, or neoteny, or human cortical neurons.

Pierre’s work has been recognized by several international awards including the Remedios Caro Almela Prize in Developmental Neurobiology, the Roger de Spoelberch Prize for neurological diseases, the Francqui Prize, and two ERC Advanced Grants.

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