Laboratory of Glia Biology (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research)
The long-term goal of Laboratory of Glia Biologyis to understand the molecular mechanisms that control development and function of astrocytes in vivo, and how they interact with neurons.
Our strategy is to use astrocytes isolated from mouse brain as a starting point. This allows us to effectively take a “bottom up” approach to astrocyte function. In a first step, we are combining state-of-the-art biochemical and physiological techniques (including quantitative mass-spectrometry and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy) to identify important protein and lipid signaling pathways in astrocytes, including their spatial and functional relationship to each other. In a second step, we will employ novel transgenic technologies to manipulate these pathways in vivo – with 2-photon based imaging techniques, and electrophysiological recordings in acute brain slices, allowing the study of astrocyte function in real-time.