The Christine Van Broeckhoven Lab aims to enhance the molecular understanding of complex, neurodegenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Lewy Body disorders and related diseases. Areas of expertise are neurogenetics with focus on early-onset and familial brain diseases, and translational research including biosampling, biobanking and databanking, as well as DNA screening and clinico-pathological characterization of mutation carriers. 

Christine Van Broeckhoven

Group Leader
VIB Group leader since 1996
VIB Science Director since 1996-July 2019
Full Professor, Univ. of Antwerp since 1999
Professor, Univ. of Antwerp since 1997
PhD: Univ. of Antwerp, Belgium, 1980
D.Sc. Molecular Genetics: Univ. of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, 1994

Research areas

Human diseases Computational biology

Research Focus

The Van Broeckhoven Lab has a strong tradition in molecular genetics of early onset Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. Particularly, the identification of novel disease genes in extended families from Flanders-Belgium. We also by the coordination of national and international neurology networks, systematically collect large cohorts of patients for advanced molecular genetic studies aimed at elucidating the genetic ethology and molecular complexity of dementia. We put special emphasis on targeted collection of selected patient cohorts with an apparent high genetic load such as rare but well-documented families, nuclear families with at least two affected family members; (founder) pedigrees with marked variability in disease penetrance and expression; patients with extreme or distinctive endophenotypes i.e very early onset age or unusual combinations of symptoms. In these distinct and large patient cohorts with unique genetic heritage, we employ advanced genetic and genomic approaches including whole exome and genome sequencing, targeted resequencing and RNA sequencing to identify rare highly penetrant mutations, risk- and disease-modifying genetic variations. We study novel key genes and proteins to unravel the underlying biological pathways with the objective to identify key molecular events and therapeutic targets for CNS neurodegeneration. Targets that define the onset of pathology will constitute prime markers for early diagnosis.

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