Physiology Group


  • The role of connexin hemichannels as a pro-arrhythmogenic substrate and therapeutic target in the heart.
  • The role of astroglial Cx43 hemichannels as a therapeutic target in stroke.
  • The role of connexins and calcium signaling in glial-endothelial interactions at the blood-brain barrier.
  • Bystander effects in ionizing radiation: the role of connexins and second messenger signaling.
  • The role of connexins and calcium signaling in fertilization and infertility
  • Blocking connexin-based channels to relieve biobanking stress (PCTEP2013076001, US patent 14/650,553).
  • Developing novel connexin-targeting peptide tools to specifically modulate hemichannel function.

Projects (current and recently finalized)



Alain Labro | Luc Leybaert | Koen Paemeleire

Postdoctoral research

Katja Witschas

Predoctoral research

Rosalie Allewaert | Lisse Frans | Steffi Schumacher | Hanane Tahiri | Siyu Tao | Kenny Van Theemsche 

Administrative and technical staff

Ellen Cocquyt | Diego De Baere 

Infrastructure and techniques

The available infrastructure and equipment is specialized for our core research activities, which are focused at calcium imaging, connexin channel studies, cell death communication and blood-brain barrier function.

Cell culture and biomolecular techniques

  • Cell culture facility: flow, incubators ...
  • Mutagenesis, bacterial transformation and transfection
  • PCR and DNA gel electrophoresis
  • Western blot equipment
  • Plate reader for luminescence, fluorescence and absorbance measurements

Microscope imaging facility

  • Epifluorescence microscope equipped with cooled, high-sensitivity CCD camera’s
  • Calcium imaging microscope equipped for UV photolysis studies
  • Fast laser scanning microscope for FRAP studies
  • Two photon microscope for in vivo imaging
  • High throughput automized microscope imaging and analysis station (BD pathway 435)
  • Leica TCS SP8 X tunable white laser spectral confocal equipped for live cell calcium imaging and UV photoactivation studies


  • Electrophysiology patch-clamp setups for single channel studies


  • Equipment for localized electroporation-based cell loading of membrane-impermeable substances including peptides and proteins


Prof. dr. Luc Leybaert
Physiology Group
Dept. Basic and Applied Medical Sciences
Ghent University
Corneel Heymanslaan 10, building B, Entrance 36
B-9000 Ghent

Administration : Ellen Cocquyt