Name: Melissa Vos

Position/Title: Research Group Leader, PhD, at the Institute of Neurogenetics

Address: Institute of Neurogenetics, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany

Phone: +49-451-3101 8203

2003 – 2007: Biomedical sciences (Masters in Biomedical Science); KU Leuven, Belgium graduated with Distinction, Advisor: Dr. Marc Van Ranst (Characterization of novel Papillomaviruses)

2009 – 2012: Ph.D. in Biomedical sciences; KU Leuven, Center for Human Genetics, VIB Center for the Biology of Disease, Leuven, Belgium, Advisor: Patrik Verstreken

2017- current: Group leader ‘Drosophila models of neurodegeneration’ at the Institute of Neurogenetics

06/2012: Author of the month; Award from the Center for Human genetics KU Leuven, Belgium                                     

2013:  Runner-up in the Larry Sandler award for best dissertation in the Drosophila field, GSA

09/2014:  Prize of the Research Council (7500€) to stimulare young postdoctoral researchers, KU Leuven, Belgium

09/2014: Special acknowledgement baron Simonart foundation to encourage research in clinical pharmacology, Belgium


2009-2012: Predoctoral Fellowship; IWT Vlaanderen, Belgium; Fellowship obtained after personal defense of the project

2013: Postdoctoral Fellowship; KU Leuven, Belgium

2014-2016: Post-doctoral fellowship; FWO, Belgium

10/2013: Travel grant (400€); GEO-PD meeting, Lubeck, Germany

12/2013:  Travel grant; FWO, mitochondrial Keystone meeting, Santa Fe, USA

2014: Junior Mobility award for a stay abroad, KU Leuven, Belgium

2014: Award for a long stay abroad, FWO, Belgium

2015: Postdoctoral felloyship; EMBO



The Implication of Lipids in Parkinson’s Disease Pathogenesis
Principal Investigator: Melissa Vos
Funding Agency: University of Lübeck, Germany (Intramural funding)
Funding Period: 01.01.2016-31.12.2017
Amount: € 75,000

Elucidating the Interaction between Mitochondria and Lipids in Parkinson’s Disease
Principal Investigator: Melissa Vos
Funding Agency: Else-Kröner-Fresenius Stiftung
Funding Period: 01.09.2017-31.08.2020
Amount: € 294,030


Advanced Biology of the Cell/Neuron

Drosophila as animal model in the study of neurodegeneration

Invited Talks

  1. Vos M. Vitamin K2 is a mitochondrial electron carrier that rescues Pink1 deficiency. GEO-PD meeting, Lübeck, Germany, October 2013.
  2. Vos M. Vitamin K2 as a potential novel therapeutic strategy in Parkinson’s disease. Ophtalmology Conference, OMICS, Baltimore, USA, June 2014.
  3. Vos M. Mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease and role of vitamin K2. Neurology seminar series, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium, January 2015
  1. Vos M, Klein C, Hicks AA. Role of Ceramides and Sphingolipids in Parkinson's Disease. J Mol Biol 2023:168000.
  2. Mandik F, Kanana Y, Rody J, Misera S, Wilken B, Laabs von Holt BH, Klein C, Vos M. A new model for fatty acid hydroxylase-associated neurodegeneration reveals mitochondrial and autophagy abnormalities. Front Cell Dev Biol 2023:1000553.
  3. Diaw SH, Ganos C, Zittel S, Plötze-Martin K, Kulikovskaja L, Vos M, Westenberger A, Rakovic A, Lohmann K, Dulovic-Mahlow M. Mutant WDR45 Leads to Altered Ferritinophagy and Ferroptosis in β-Propeller Protein-Associated Neurodegeneration. Int J Mol Sci 2022;17
  4. Vos M. Mitochondrial Complex I deficiency: guilty in Parkinson's disease. Signal Transduct Target Ther 2022;1:136.
  5. Vos M, Klein C. Ceramide-induced mitophagy impairs ß-oxidation-linked energy production in PINK1 deficiency. Autophagy 2022;3:703-704.
  6. Mandik F, Vos M. Neurodegenerative Disorders: Spotlight on Sphingolipids. Int J Mol Sci 2021;21
  7. Vos M, Dulovic-Mahlow M, Mandik F, Frese L, Kanana Y, Haissatou Diaw S, Depperschmidt J, Böhm C, Rohr J, Lohnau T, König IR, Klein C. Ceramide accumulation induces mitophagy and impairs β-oxidation in PINK1 deficiency. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021;43
  8. Vos M, Klein C. The Importance of Drosophila melanogaster Research to UnCover Cellular Pathways Underlying Parkinson's Disease. Cells 2021;3
  9. Prasuhn J, Kasten M, Vos M, König IR, Schmid SM, Wilms B, Klein C, Brüggemann N. The Use of Vitamin K2 in Patients With Parkinson's Disease and Mitochondrial Dysfunction (PD-K2): A Theranostic Pilot Study in a Placebo-Controlled Parallel Group Design. Front Neurol 2021:592104.
  10. Dulovic-Mahlow M, Trinh J, Kandaswamy KK, Braathen GJ, Di Donato N, Rahikkala E, Beblo S, Werber M, Krajka V, Busk ØL, Baumann H, Al-Sannaa NA, Hinrichs F, Affan R, Navot N, Al Balwi MA, Oprea G, Holla ØL, Weiss MER, Jamra RA, Kahlert AK, Kishore S, Tveten K, Vos M, Rolfs A, Lohmann K. De Novo Variants in TAOK1 Cause Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Am J Hum Genet 2019;1:213-220.
  11. Dulovic M, Vos M. Sleep dysfunction in Parkinson's disease: Novel molecular mechanism and implications for therapy. Mov Disord 2018;10:1558-1559.
  12. Vos M, Geens A, Böhm C, Deaulmerie L, Swerts J, Rossi M, Craessaerts K, Leites EP, Seibler P, Rakovic A, Lohnau T, De Strooper B, Fendt SM, Morais VA, Klein C, Verstreken P. Cardiolipin promotes electron transport between ubiquinone and complex I to rescue PINK1 deficiency. J Cell Biol 2017;3:695-708.
  13. Vos M, Verstreken P, Klein C. Stimulation of electron transport as potential novel therapy in Parkinson's disease with mitochondrial dysfunction. Biochem Soc Trans 2015;2:275-279.
  14. Valadas JS, Vos M, Verstreken P. Therapeutic strategies in Parkinson's disease: what we have learned from animal models. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2014:16-37.
  15. Vos M, Lovisa B, Geens A, Morais VA, Wagnières G, van den Bergh H, Ginggen A, De Strooper B, Tardy Y, Verstreken P. Near-infrared 808 nm light boosts complex IV-dependent respiration and rescues a Parkinson-related pink1 model. PLoS One 2013;11:e78562.
  16. Haddad DM, Vilain S, Vos M, Esposito G, Matta S, Kalscheuer VM, Craessaerts K, Leyssen M, Nascimento RM, Vianna-Morgante AM, De Strooper B, Van Esch H, Morais VA, Verstreken P. Mutations in the intellectual disability gene Ube2a cause neuronal dysfunction and impair parkin-dependent mitophagy. Mol Cell 2013;6:831-843.
  17. Esposito G, Vos M, Vilain S, Swerts J, De Sousa Valadas J, Van Meensel S, Schaap O, Verstreken P. Aconitase causes iron toxicity in Drosophila pink1 mutants. PLoS Genet 2013;4:e1003478.
  18. van Bon BW, Oortveld MA, Nijtmans LG, Fenckova M, Nijhof B, Besseling J, Vos M, Kramer JM, de Leeuw N, Castells-Nobau A, Asztalos L, Viragh E, Ruiter M, Hofmann F, Eshuis L, Collavin L, Huynen MA, Asztalos Z, Verstreken P, Rodenburg RJ, Smeitink JA, de Vries BB, Schenck A. CEP89 is required for mitochondrial metabolism and neuronal function in man and fly. Hum Mol Genet 2013;15:3138-3151.
  19. Vos M, Esposito G, Edirisinghe JN, Vilain S, Haddad DM, Slabbaert JR, Van Meensel S, Schaap O, De Strooper B, Meganathan R, Morais VA, Verstreken P. Vitamin K2 is a mitochondrial electron carrier that rescues pink1 deficiency. Science 2012;6086:1306-1310.
  20. Vilain S, Esposito G, Haddad D, Schaap O, Dobreva MP, Vos M, Van Meensel S, Morais VA, De Strooper B, Verstreken P. The yeast complex I equivalent NADH dehydrogenase rescues pink1 mutants. PLoS Genet 2012;1:e1002456.
  21. Vos M, Lauwers E, Verstreken P. Synaptic mitochondria in synaptic transmission and organization of vesicle pools in health and disease. Front Synaptic Neurosci 2011:139.
  22. Rector A, Stevens H, Lacave G, Lemey P, Mostmans S, Salbany A, Vos M, Van Doorslaer K, Ghim SJ, Rehtanz M, Bossart GD, Jenson AB, Van Ranst M. Genomic characterization of novel dolphin papillomaviruses provides indications for recombination within the Papillomaviridae. Virology 2008;1:151-161.