On the importance of being translational: Patient-driven therapeutics


Our second example of the intense exchange of our basic science researchers with the Discovery Sciences team leads us into the field of neurology and peripheral neuropathies. More specifically to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), an incurable progressive weakening and atrophy of distal limb muscles. Patients develop foot deformities and gait difficulties, and also experience sensory abnormalities. CMT has a severe impact on the quality of life of its patients. Ludo Van Den Bosch, who is specialized in CMT, is professor neurobiology at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research. 

VIB welcomes new Marie Curie fellows


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.

Winning at basic science: collaboration is critical


A research team with Ludo Van Den Bosch (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research) at its helm has identified a new process that leads to the neurodegenerative brain diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). The research uncovered important intra-cellular processes that lead to protein clumping in patients with defects in their C9orf72 genes. These key insights could lead to new treatments that prevent proteins from solidifying. This ground-breaking science would have never been possible, however, without close collaboration across VIB labs, core centers and national boundaries. We asked these VIB researchers to tell us more about the collaboration.