Research themes: Toxic protein assemblies

Our research aims to unravel the basic biological mechanisms of neurobiology and brain disease and to pursue these novel findings to solve major medical problems. This work is defined by five forefront, multidisciplinary research lines, on which our different labs collaborate and interact:

Toxic protein assemblies

The biophysical properties of some proteins allow them to sometimes separate in droplets in the cytoplasm (phase separation) or even aggregate in an insoluble mass. These features are very relevant because pathological studies in human patients show protein aggregates in the vast majority of those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.

We study how these protein assemblies can form, what are the functional consequences of their presence and what are the therapeutic challenges. Some are flipping things around and are exploiting the fact that many proteins in nature have the intrinsic propensity to aggregate: they developed the technology to induce protein aggregation in ‘unwanted cells’ (eg antibiotic resistant bacteria or cancer cells) to induce their death.

 

 

Labs

WIM ANNAERT LAB
Laboratory for membrane trafficking

LUCIA CHAVEZ-GUTIERREZ LAB
Laboratory of proteolytic mechanisms mediating neurodegeneration

BART DE STROOPER LAB
Laboratory for the research of neurodegenerative diseases

SWITCH  LAB
Frederic Rousseau & Joost Schymkowitz

LUDO VAN DEN BOSCH LAB
Laboratory of neurobiology

PATRIK VERSTREKEN LAB
Laboratory of neuronal communication

Selected publications

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