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Functional genomics: from target to therapy

Complete sequence information and annotation of the human and rodent genomes have become available at a rapid pace. This knowledge is used in the Laboratory for Neuroregeneration to discover new molecular pathways involved in neurodegeneration in human brain diseases (Alzheimer and Parkinson disease) and in neurotrauma.

Genome wide expression profiles of brain tissue of Alzheimer and Parkinson patients and of mechanically injured PNS and CNS neurons and glial cells are subjected to bioinformatics and pathway analysis. In collaboration with the laboratory of Guus Smit (Center for Neurogenomics and Cognition Research, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) novel target genes are functionally validated in medium-throughput bioassays (“Cellomics”).

The study of all simultaneous changes in gene expression that occur during the neurodegeneration process will lead to new hypotheses on the molecular mechanisms that underlie neurodegeneration or govern successful regeneration, and will result in new molecular targets for gene and cell therapy (research line 3).