We are pleased to announce that Professor Claudia Bagni has accepted a new position at the Department of Fundamental Neuroscience at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. During 2016, the Leuven branch of the Bagni lab will be moving to Lausanne.
The years in Leuven as part of VIB Center of the Biology of Disease and the Center for Human Genetics at KU Leuven have been a fantastic opportunity to develop our science in a dynamic and excellent community. It has allowed fruitful interactions with the Flemish scientific community, and collaborations with clinicians at UZ Leuven that have been beneficial for all involved. In particular it is a great honor to have had the opportunity to work at the Center for Human Genetics, founded by Prof Herman Van den Berghe, who was among the first discoverers of Fragile X Syndrome. Many thanks go to VIB for all of the possibilities they have provided within the Center for the Biology of Disease and also within the wider VIB community across Flanders, which has been instrumental to the scientific output of our laboratory during this time.
There will be job opportunities upcoming in Lausanne so please check back on the job opportunities page.
Congratulations to PhD student Nuria Dominguez, who has been awarded a prestigious FWO (Research Foundation Flanders) fellowship to support her research.
Congratulations to postdoc Alexandros Kanellopoulos, who has been awarded a prestigious Autism Speaks Meixner Translational Postdoctoral Fellowship. Alex is using drosophilia as a model system to study CYFIP function, and in his fellowship he will study how reduced CYFIP levels in different neuronal populations affects behavior. Additionally he will also look into ameliorating phenotypes seen in the drosophilia model of CYFIP reduction. More information can be found here on the Autism Speaks website, and media coverage on the VIB website here.
We have a new paper out in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, on “Autism Spectrum Disorders: Translating human deficits into mouse behavior”, taking a closer look at at how the typical behaviors seen in human autism spectrum disorders can be modelled in mice. And an added bonus – we got the cover!
Amyloid precursor protein (APP) was known to be an mRNA targeted by FMRP for translation regulation, but in this new study, lead by Dr Emanuela Pasciuto, we identified a molecular mechanism that leads to increased levels and maturation of the soluble APPα in the FXS mouse model. A lack of FMRP in early development leads to excessive production of APP and its regulating secretase, ADAM10, affecting neuronal development and behavior. This indicates an important role for the non-amyloidogenic pathway of APP processing in pathological processes.The paper was published in Neuron (see here for Pubmed link). Also see here for coverage on the VIB website and here for a great write up in the AlzForum.