The Braakman/Van der Sluijs group takes inspiration from Cystic Fibrosis to identify and characterize folding defects caused by (inherited) diseases. Next to the identification of putative drug targets, this allows determination of mode of action of modulator compounds, of molecular chaperones and cellular responses.
Remco Veltkamp and Joost Raessens
The Utrecht Center for Game Research has extensive experience in designing, developing, and validating ‘games with a purpose’, games for a good cause. As directors they see every day that games are ‘designed experiences’, have a positive effect on people’s behavior, and are excellent instruments for science communication and citizen science.
The Hipp lab works on the questions on why proteins clump together in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s Disease as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and how these aggregates actually harm cells. The aim of their research is to find ways to alert and activate the cells own defense system to protect them from these toxic protein aggregates.
The Rüdiger laboratory exploits the natural protein quality control system to create novel drugs for protein folding diseases such as Alzheimer, Huntington or Parkinson. Zooming in on the molecular level, we take advantage of the common ground between these diseases at the molecular level, using cutting edge protein chemistry.
The Claessens Nanobiophysics group focusses on how nature uses intrinsically disordered proteins and in unraveling the role of these proteins in the development of (neurodegenerative) diseases at a molecular scale. For their research the group develops and uses state of the art optical methods with a focus on ultrasensitive optical spectroscopy and microscopy down to the single molecule level.
Liesbeth de Bakker
Liesbeth is lecturer in science communication at the UU for 15 years now and she represents the Science Communication group at the Freudenthal Institute, consisting of Frans van Dam, Roald Verhoeff and Mark Bos. Together, we have a lot of expertise in the areas of informal science education, citizen science, journalism and social media, and dialogue interventions. We hope our science communication knowledge will be of value to communicate the workings and outcomes of the Moira 2.0 knowledge centre to different stakeholders.
Mark is lecturer and researcher at the Freudenthal Institute at the UU. He has previously worked on information seeking and processing behaviors of young adolescents and (public) attitude development in relation to ecogenomics. As a lecturer he focuses on Communicating Science with the Public (popularizing science) and Product Development. Together with his colleagues (and students) he hopes to contribute to the Moira 2.0 knowledge centre with expertise in public engagement and participation in science and in popularization of science in general.
The Broersen team aims at fundamental understanding of the cellular communication systems between brain-residing neurons and the immune system by studying trafficking of molecules. To achieve this, we make use of classical biochemical, molecular biology, and cell biological read-outs combined with highly advanced and refined engineering tools to make our observations. These include stem cell-derived organoids, and CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene editing.
The Förster group develops and applies cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) methods to obtain most detailed insights into how juvenile proteins mature in the cell and how they are disposed of if necessary. Comparative studies on cells in different states provide insights into the molecular basis of diseases and possible intervention.
Harm Kampinga (UMCG)
Pioneered research on regulation and diversity of heat shock proteins andtheir role in stress resistance and (age-related) protein folding diseases (Mol Cell 2010, Mol Cell 2016, Mol Cell 2020), and aging. Discovered how chaperones critically can triage clients towards proteasomal or autophagosomal degradation. Discovered asymmetric segregation of protein damage as a key aspect of stem cell rejuvenation in higher eukaryotes (PLoS Biol 2006).
Aafke is a teacher at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Aafke has a background in research on protein folding. She and other teachers at the HU are dedicated to create an inspiring environment for the students where they learn to work on actual research questions.
Peter van der Sluijs
The Braakman/Van der Sluijs group capitalizes on the ability of B cells to upregulate protein synthesis during the humoral antigen response when large amounts of antibodies are secreted. This provides an excellent system to define the molecular principles underlying oxidative protein folding and unfolded protein response, perturbation of which are at the core of many diseases.
The Waterham group focuses on functional genetics of inherited metabolic disorders. Their research is aimed at understanding the consequences of genetic defects for encoded proteins, metabolism, cellular functions and patients, with the ultimate goal to develop targeted therapeutic approaches.
A Medicinal Chemist who has been interested in understanding the epithelial ion transport. This lead to a career long pursuit of finding cure for Cystic Fibrosis disease and learn great science from the protein-folding aspects of the CFTR protein that is the root cause of this disease. A CF Drug Hunter who has been looking for small molecule modulators – “Correctors” and “Potentiators” of this mutated CFTR protein. Also have strong interest for determine the Mechanism-of-Action of these modulators.
John Skidmore/The ALBORADA Drug Discovery Institute (ADDI)
The ADDI is a not for profit institute at the University of Cambridge, funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, focussed on delivering tool compounds and validation of new targets against the diseases that cause dementia. The group has teams expert in medicinal chemistry, cell and molecular biology, screening and in vivo biology. We collaborate with many academics in Europe, the US and Australasia.
The Metakids Foundation aims to raise funds for academic research of IEMs, to increase the awareness of IEMs among a general public and to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders in order to gain sufficient financial support for IEMs research and care.