VIB Center for Molecular Neurology

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Structure of the Center for Molecular Neurology

The CMN contains three distinct, but highly-related, research groups that will be supported and interconnected by highly-skilled expert central technology units.

Research groups

Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases

The Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases (NBD) group headed by Christine Van Broeckhoven (molecular genetics) clusters three research teams each headed by a staff scientist with a full or part-time professor appointment i.e. Marc Cruts (molecular genomics), Kristel Sleegers (genetic neuro-epidemiology) and Julie van der Zee (translational genetics), working on frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, early-onset dementia, and related neurodegenerative brain diseases.

Molecular Neurogenomics

The Molecular Neurogenomics (MNG) group is headed by Albena Jordanova and studies the molecular architecture underlying the “dying-back” type of degeneration affecting neurons with very long axonal processes. The group will focus on the identification of causative and modifier genes and the regulatory networks these genes are involved. The research strategy is not limited to one experimental approach, but starts with genetic studies in unique collections of patients (e.g. Gypsies) and extends to model systems, including Drosophila, yeast and human cells.

Neuromics Support Facility

The Neuromics Support Facility (NSF) is a competence center providing services and training in the fields of genetics, genomics, transcriptomics, bioinformatics, histology and cellular imaging. Our vision is to maintain state-of-the-art, reliable, efficient and flexible support to the main research activities of the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology (CMN).

Central Support

The central support comprises Administration & Logistics including HR and Finance management, secretariat, IT helpdesk and Animal Care.

Associate Research groups

Peripheral Neuropathies

The Peripheral Neuropathies (PN) groupis headed by Vincent Timmerman and studies the molecular consequences of disease causing mutations affecting the RNA metabolism, ER/mitochondrial crosstalk, autophagy and axonal homeostasis as common pathomechanisms for inherited peripheral neuropathies. They aim to identify novel and unifying therapeutic strategies based on the identification of common molecular signature pathways leading to axonal degeneration.


The Neurogenetics (NG) group is headed by Peter De Jonghe who is a leader in clinical neurology and molecular genetics of peripheral neuropathies, spastic paraplegias/ataxias and epilepsies. This group is building on previous neurological and neurogenetic expertise and provides a direct clinical access to biosampling of patients and potential translational medicines.

©2017 VIB - Center for Molecular Neurology