VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

Science Director: Rosa Rademakers

Our mission

The overall objective of the VIB Center for Molecular Neurology (CMN) is to enhance our current understanding of the biology of the nervous system during healthy aging and in relation to aging-related diseases. The new information will be translated to the clinic as well as to experimental work to gain a comprehensive view of the disease process ultimately contributing to the development of effective preventive interventions and etiological treatments. To achieve this objective, CMN defines two main goals: 1) to improve our knowledge on the complex molecular etiology of age-related neurological diseases and 2) to create effective translational pipelines and potential therapies that are specifically tailored to well-characterized patient groups. In this way, the CMN’s mission will thrive on and complement the strategic initiative of VIB on translational research, adding to the visibility and raising further the international standing of our institute. 

Our efforts have a strong translational directionality, where the patient has a central position in the research process both at the conceptual and the experimental level. An invaluable strength comes from the combination of extended patient biobanking, molecular signature discovery and high-dimensionality data integration, within a coherent system for therapeutic and diagnostic strategy creation. We strongly believe that a higher-order interrogation of data from a whole-organism-wide appreciation of neurodegenerative diseases is required for the generation of the most effective therapeutics that exert their actions in an integrative systems-level manner.

Our key goals:

  1. to identify causal genes and disease modifying genes that contribute to genetic risk and clinical expression 
  2. to analyze the clinical trajectory, including the early asymptomatic phase of disease, in large families with inherited disease 
  3. to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset and progression of disease 
  4. to generate a holistic understanding of age-related neurological diseases by discovering genetic, epigenetic, transcriptomic, and proteomic signatures of disease amenable to therapeutic targeting
  5. to develop translationally-effective cell and animal models of disease for mechanistic investigation, diagnostic interpretation and therapeutic intervention 
  6. to identify (noninvasive) biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for personalized medicine

Beyond borders

A lot of our research projects are conducted in close partnership with other research groups around the world. Additionally, we have close and ongoing collaborations with our colleagues at our two host institutes, VIB & Antwerp University.

Funding & partners

Our research is supported by the Flemish government and several (inter)national funding bodies but also by numerous charity organizations that recognize the importance of combining fundamental and clinical research to generate therapeutic breakthroughs.

Center address

VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology
Building V of the University of Antwerp (UA) - CDE, Parking 4,
Universiteitsplein 1
B-2610 Antwerpen