Three VIB group leaders receive an ERC Proof of Concept grant


Each year, the European Research Council awards Proof of Concept grants to ERC grant holders who wish to take their ERC research one step further towards application. This year, no less than three VIB principal investigators have received an ERC PoC grant: Prof. Kevin Verstrepen (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology), Prof. Patrik Verstreken, and Prof. Stein Aerts (both from the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research).

Belgian team secures million-dollar funding from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative


Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the philanthropic endeavor led by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his partner Priscilla Chan, announced the launch of its Neurodegeneration Challenge Network. This new network brings together experimental scientists from diverse biomedical research fields, as well as computational biologists and physicians, to understand the underlying causes of neurodegenerative disorders.

Closing in on Tau: Researchers identify a new synaptic player in early stages of neurodegeneration


​Tau proteins clump together to form neuronal tangles, found in patient brains of more than twenty different neurodegenerative diseases, including various forms of dementia. Last year, researchers at VIB and KU Leuven uncovered that Tau disturbs neuronal communication when it is mislocalized to presynaptic terminals during early disease stages. In a new study, the researchers report that a protein called Synaptogyrin-3 is mediating these effects and could be a new potential target for therapeutic development. 

Tau prevents synaptic transmission at early stage of neurodegeneration


​Tau proteins are involved in more than twenty neurodegenerative diseases, including various forms of dementia. These proteins clump together in patients’ brains to form neuronal tangles: protein aggregation that eventually coincides with the death of brain cells. Prof. Patrik Verstreken’s research team (VIB-KU Leuven) has now discovered how tau disrupts the functioning of nerve cells, even before it starts forming tangles. They immediately suggest a way to intervene in this process.