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Researchers at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research uncover how the upregulation of an ion channel called TRPM3 causes hypersensitivity in inflamed tissue. The new findings, published by professor Thomas Voets and his team in eLife, suggest new therapeutic avenues to help patients suffering from chronic pain.
The Science paper by Ryohei Iwata, Pierre Casimir and Pierre Vanderhaeghen on how mitochondrial dynamics in postmitotic cells regulate neurogenesis has been picked up by national news channels.
In this week’s edition of Science, a Belgian team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen (VIB-KU Leuven, ULB) finds that mitochondria regulate a key event during brain development: how neural stem cells become nerve cells. Mitochondria influence this cell fate switch during a precise period that is twice as long in humans compared to mice. The seminal findings highlight an unexpected function for mitochondria that may help explain how humans developed a bigger brain during evolution, and how mitochondrial defects lead to neurodevelopmental diseases.
Cancers are extremely heterogeneous. Even within the same tumor, some cells may be more aggressive than others. In the latest issue of Nature Cell Biology, a team of scientists led by Stein Aerts (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research) reports how distinct gene regulatory networks drive melanoma skin cancer cells to become more invasive. The findings will inform research into better cancer treatments.
On Sunday July 12th, Wim Annaert embarked on a 2-week biking vacation and fundraising challenge in Bretagne, France. For each kilometer he biked, he pledged to donate € 1 to SAO, the Belgian Alzheimer foundation.
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).
A research team led by Bart De Strooper and Mark Fiers at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research in Leuven used pioneering technologies to study in detail what happens in brain cells in the direct vicinity of plaques.
In a seminal study published in Cell, an international team of scientists led by Prof. Adrian Liston (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research and Babraham Institute) describe a population of specialized brain-resident immune cells discovered in the mouse and human brain, and show that the presence of white blood cells is essential for normal brain development in mice.
In some individuals, a diet high in sugar increases the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer and also drives the aggressive growth of tumours, a study by researchers from VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium and the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK, has found.
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.