ASAP Grant for 3 MPIB Directors

Brenda Schulman, Ulrich Hartl and Wolfgang Baumeister receive a research grant to study Mechanisms of Parkinsons’s disease

Brenda Schulman, Ulrich Hartl and Wolfgang Baumeister, all directors at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany have received a research grant to study the mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease from the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s Initiative, the implementing partner of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is ASAP’s implementation partner.

The research project will be led by Wade Harper, head of the Department of Cell Biology in the Blavatnik Institute at Havard Medical School, USA. Harper and co-investigators from the Max-Panck-Institute of Biochemistry as well as Ruben Fernandez-Busnadiego from the University of Göttingen and Judith Frydman at Stanford University, USA aim to elucidate the molecular aberrations in nerve cells that give rise to the Parkinson’s disease.

Specifically, they will focus on how nerve cells purge cellular debris and defective proteins — a process that when gone awry can result in the build-up of toxic proteins inside cells and interfere with cellular function, sparking a cascade of events that culminates in the symptoms of Parkinson’s as well as other neuro-degenerative conditions. The team plans to use powerful molecular visualization techniques to map the disease-causing chain of events triggered by poor protein degradation inside cells and look for ways to correct or improve this malfunction. The ultimate goal of the MPIB-researchers’ is to to make progress in discovering new possible targets that could then lead to drug development.


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