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Identical twin toddlers who presented with severe arthritis helped scientists to identify the first gene mutation that can single-handedly cause a juvenile form of this inflammatory joint disease. By investigating the DNA of individual blood cells of both children and then modelling the genetic defect in a mouse model, the research team led by Adrian Liston (VIB-KU Leuven) was able to unravel the disease mechanism.
Two newly developed methods will help researchers to study the 3D structure of complex surfaces and of individual neurons better than ever before. Sebastian Munck and Natalia Gunko, two expert technologists at VIB-KU Leuven, report new imaging protocols that will advance neuroscience and (bio)imaging in general.
In two recent studies, the same team of scientists has uncovered the mechanisms underlying two distinct immunological disorders affecting both children and adults. Stephanie Humblet-Baron (VIB-KU Leuven) was the researcher at the helm of both projects.
Claude Libert (VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research): “Steven Timmermans is a bioinformatician in my lab. During his PhD, he has combined two key tasks: providing services to other people in the group (analyzing CHIPSeq, RNASeq and other complex datasets), and building a new research line under the guidance of Yvan Saeys and myself. He has constructed a searchable database (mousepost. be), which collects all key protein polymorphisms in all sequenced mouse strains. This groundbreaking database was recently promoted by Trends in Genetics. What I admire most in Steven is his flexibility in dealing with many different datasets and his perseverance in problem-solving. Bioinformatics expertise is crucial, but to see its daily impact on our projects is amazing. As a PhD student, Steven is first author of publications in PNAS, JCI Insight, Trends in Genetics, Mammalian Genome (twice) and shares first authorship on a PNAS paper.”
Eight years ago, microscopist and training coordinator Chris Guérin (VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research) set up the VIB Summer School. The founding father’s impending retirement makes it the right time to both put him in the spotlight and celebrate the birthday of his brainchild.
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.
Life Star award for best EU start-up (<£30M) goes to Aelin Therapeutics!
A team of scientists led by Bart De Strooper (VIB-KU Leuven) set out to identify small regulatory molecules called miRNAs that are involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. They found a handful of candidates that were upregulated in different animal models and in patients, but their link to the disease turns out to be more puzzling than anticipated.
In a recent study in Molecular Neurodegeneration, researchers from VIB-KU Leuven led by prof. Philip Van Damme, reveal neuroprotective effects of progranulin against TDP-43 accumulation and neurodegeneration. The findings suggest that progranulin treatment may not only be of interest to certain patients with frontotemporal dementia, but also to patients with ALS.
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