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Developmental and Cellular Biology

The Developmental and Cellular Biology group at the LCSB

Front row from left to right: Claudia Saraiva, Nina Possemis, Gemma Gomez Giro, Javier Jarazo, Silvia Bolognin, Matthieu Gobin, Sònia Sabate Soler

Middle row from left to right: Alise Žagare, Anna Monzel, Nathasia Muwanigwa, Kyriaki Barmpa, Ugnė Dubonytė, Isabel Rosety, Jennifer Modamio Chamarro

Back row from left to right: Graham Robertson, Thea Van Wüllen, Sophia Abusamra, Semra Smajic, Barbara Pinheiro, Prof. Jens Schwamborn, Sarah Nickels

About the Developmental and Cellular Biology Group

In recent years, it has been accepted that PD is a disorder which is not only characterised by a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, but probably also has a strong neuro-developmental aspect. The aim of our research is to understand, model and treat PD. Particularly, we are interested in elucidating how developmental processes contribute to the susceptibility to suffer from PD. Human stem cells, either neural stem cells or pluripotent stem cells, are in the centre of all of our research approaches. We use these cells to generate advanced in vitro disease models, including three-dimensional brain organoids (so called “mini-brains”), which shall help us to understand the cellular and molecular processes underlying disease onset and progression. By further developing these models, we will at least partially be able to replace animal experiments and to take an additional step in the direction of personalised medicine. Concerning the molecular processes we are particularly interested in linking the molecular function of PD-associated proteins with cell cycle progression, protein aggregation and mitochondrial / lysosomal function. Additionally to PD, we are also working on Battens disease / Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinosis (NCL), which is a childhood neurodegenerative disease. Multiple projects are funded by the FNR.

The Developmental and Cellular Biology group is currently part of the following consortia: the NanoPD Team and CONNECT.

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Head of Team


 
Prof. Dr. Jens Schwamborn (LCSB)