Lots of activity in our building these weeks, as the labs located in ON4 are gradually moving to the new ON5 building this January and February.
With the advent of super-resolution microscopy, scientists can study close protein associations better than ever before. In the latest edition of eLife, the team of Wim Annaert (VIB-KU Leuven) combines state-of-the-art imaging techniques to investigate the distribution of γ-secretase, a protein complex associated with both Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
VIB has signed an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with new-kid-on-the-stock-market Denali Therapeutics. The San Francisco-based biotech company – which raised about 210 million euro on its first day on the stock exchange in December – specializes in treating neurodegenerative diseases through rigorous therapeutic discovery and development.
Although VIB is heavily focused on transforming research insights into solutions to the real problems faced by humanity, the beating heart of VIB is strategic basic research conducted by world-class scientists in our labs. After all, 20 years of experience in basic science has taught us that some of the most groundbreaking innovations come up by chance as outcomes of fundamental research.
A research team led by professor Wim Annaert (VIB/KU Leuven) has presented new insights into the roles of different γ-secretases in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). γ-secretases are enzymes that contribute to the production of amyloid peptides that in AD aggregate in abnormal clusters, so-called ‘amyloid plaques’. These build up between nerve cells and disrupt brain communication. Postdoctoral researcher Ragna Sannerud from the team of professor Annaert together with several collaborators have focused on the slight differences between two types of γ-secretase. This has now led to a breakthrough that might open up new opportunities in the search for an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) treatment. This unexpected discovery underlines the importance of continued basic research.