[ Nederlands ]
The laboratory for Neuroimmunology has a translational structure with a continuous exchange between the clinical care program Neuroinflammatory disorders and laboratory research on these disorders.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common neuroinflammatory disorder. MS typically affects young adults and can lead to physical and cognitive disability. There are approximately 10,000 individuals suffering from the disease in Belgium, and 2.5 million worldwide. Characteristics of the disease are inflammation, demyelination and axonal loss in brain and spinal cord.
Genetic factors play a role in an individual’s susceptibility to develop the disease and form the starting point of our research. In collaboration with colleagues worldwide of the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium we have identified more than 50 genetic risk factors for MS in the last few years. As these explain a substantial fraction of but not the entire heritability of the disease, this research line is continued. The known genetic factors point to the role of specific cells of the immune system in the development of the disease, but more research is needed to understand their role precisely so as to be able to identify targets for treatments. We also investigate whether genetic factors play a role in the disease course and the response to treatment.
The Laboratory of Neuroimmunology is supported by the Research Fund K.U.Leuven (OT/11/087), the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)-Vlaanderen, Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Multiple Sclerose (WOMS), the Belgian Neurological Society, the Charcot Foundation, the chairs “Bayer Chair on Fundamental Genetic Research into the Neuroimmunological Aspects of Multiple Sclerosis” and “Biogen Idec Chair Translational Research in Multiple Sclerosis” and research support from Teva Pharma Nederland B.V., and Rotary Zaventem.
Prof. Dr. B. Dubois (head of the laboratory, principal investigator)
Past members of the lab, visitors and master students:
Prof. Dr. An Goris is laureate of the Charcot Research Fund 2011.
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