The Albena Jordanova Lab focuses on the identification and characterization of genes and pathways implicated in the molecular etiology of inherited neuromuscular disorders, like motor and sensory peripheral neuropathies and spastic paraplegias. This is our way to understand the molecular pathomechanisms and design strategies for prevention and treatment of these devastating diseases. The research strategy is not limited to one experimental approach, but starts with genetic studies in unique collections of patients and extends to model systems, like Drosophila, yeast or human cells.

Albena Jordanova

Group Leader
VIB Group Leader since 2011
Professor in Human Molecular Genetics, Medical University - Sofia, since 2009
Professor in Molecular Neurosciences, University of Antwerp, since 2007
Board Certification in Medical Biology, Medical University - Sofia, 2001
PhD in Molecular Genetics, Medical University - Sofia, 1999
MSc in Biochemistry and Microbiology, Sofia University, “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1992

Research areas

Human diseases Neurobiology Molecular neurology

Model organisms

Research Focus

The main research projects are:

  • Identification of novel causative genes for inherited forms of peripheral neuropathies and spastic paraplegias using family and population based genetic approaches;

  • Neurogenetics studies in the Roma/Gypsy population;

  • Unraveling the role of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in degeneration of peripheral nerves;

  • Unraveling the role of HINT1 in the etiology of peripheral neuropathies associated with neuromyotonia

Hereditary motor and sensory peripheral neuropathies (known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, CMT) and hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSP) are rare but severe neuromuscular disorders found in all ethnic groups. They are currently untreatable, justifying further research on their etiology. We aim to better understand the molecular basis of CMT and HSP by finding causative genes and regulatory networks contributing to their pathology, as this knowledge offers particular translational opportunities.

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We are always on the lookout for highly motivated colleagues to join our team. If you are interested, please contact us.


The Albena Jordanova Lab can only thrive thanks to the dedication and commitment of its people, no matter what their function or seniority.


To stay up to date in rapidly developing fields, scientists regularly interact with (international) colleagues. Conferences and other (scientific) events are an excellent way to facilitate such a continent-spanning knowledge exchange.




Woman in Science award   

Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, 2005

Jordanova Lab news

geen vertaling beschikbaar Understanding Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease


Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMT) is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system. It leads to progressive muscle weakness and loss of sensation in the lower and later on upper limbs. It is the most commonly inheritable neuromuscular disorder and, at the moment, remains incurable. CMT is very heterogenous and the first symptoms can appear both in early childhood or during adult life. Its heterogeneity makes it a difficult condition to study and find treatment for.

geen vertaling beschikbaar Belgian-American research team uncovers a new mechanism of neurodegeneration


Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is an inherited neurodegenerative condition that affects 1 in 2500 individuals. Currently, however, it is still lacking effective treatment options. New research has demonstrated that a class of cytoplasmic enzymes called tRNA synthetases can cause CMT by interfering with the gene transcription in the nucleus. This breakthrough is the result of an international academic collaboration, where scientists from the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology and the Scripps Research Institute were the driving force. The study was published in the leading journal Nature Communications.