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.
A research team led by Joris de Wit at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research has uncovered new molecular players critical for the formation and function of neuronal circuits in the brain. Through proteomic profiling of a specific synapse in the hippocampus, they identified multiple uncharacterized synaptic cell surface proteins, including a new regulator of connectivity.
Today, VIB and KU Leuven present a new venture, Augustine Therapeutics, with the mission to develop innovative therapeutics for patients suffering from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Augustine raises a seed-round of 4.2 million euro with V-Bio Ventures, PMV, Advent France Biotechnology, Gemma Frisius Fund and VIB.
Each year, the EU launches calls for postdoc research fellowships through the Marie Sklodowksa-Curie Actions. Fellowships provided through these actions support researchers regardless of age and nationality. Researchers working across all disciplines are eligible for funding. The prestigious two-year funding of Marie Curie fellowships attracts an enormous number of applications. Consequently, these fellowships are very competitive with a typical success rate of around 12%. VIB, however, manages to maintain a success rate of around 27%. The standing of these fellowships also provides an excellent springboard for the launch of an outstanding research career.
Researchers at VIB and KU Leuven have uncovered a new molecular interaction that governs the formation of specific functional connections between two types of neurons. It gives an important clue as to how unique interactions give shape to precisely organized neuronal networks in the brain.
The brain is an enormously complex organ. Understanding how billions of brain cells succeed in making precise connections is a major challenge for neuroscientists. Professor Joris de Wit and his team (VIB-KU Leuven) have unraveled a molecular code that determines the shape, location and function of connections between individual neurons. These findings could help us better understand brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.