Alex completed his MSc at the KU Leuven in Belgium and did his PhD in the group of Patrizia Agostinis, also at the KU Leuven, funded by an IWT scholarship. Here, he worked on the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) and its role in establishing organelle contact sites with mitochondria and the plasma membrane (PM). In light of this, he discovered a novel function of the ER stress kinase PERK in regulating ER-PM contact sites to allow efficient Calcium trafficking.
After his PhD, he moved to the lab of Sharon Tooze as an EMBO long-term fellow, where he is studying the role of ATG9A in autophagosome biogenesis. In particular, he is interested in how ATG9A interacts with the lipid transfer protein ATG2A. This project entails techniques ranging from light and electron microscopy (more specifically correlative light and electron microscopy or CLEM), biochemistry, peptide biology and molecular biology.