Title of project or programme

Molecular studies of synaptic vescicle recycling in health and disease (SYNAPSEFUNCTION)

Principal Investigators of project/programme grant
DrPatrikVerstreken K.U.LeuvenBelgium
Address of institution of lead PI
InstitutionK.U.Leuven, Center of Human Genetics
Street AddressVIB, Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics
CityHerestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium


Source of funding information

European Research Council

Total sum awarded (Euro)


Start date of award


Total duration of award in months


The project/programme is most relevant to
  • Parkinson’s disease
Research abstract in English

Synaptic transmission is of paramount importance for neuronal circuit integrity; if synapses fail, circuits fail. Transmission of electrical pulses in our brain is critical for normal but also higher brain functions such as learning, memory formation and thought, and understanding the regulatory processes of synaptic transmission may provide insight into neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorder and drug addiction that arise from defects in specific neuronal circuits in the brain. Here, we propose to study novel regulatory mechanisms that operate at the synapse and have the capacity to be major regulators of synaptic plasticity. Our work will include studies of novel synaptic organelles and alternative pathways of synaptic vesicle endocytosis (e.g. clathrin-dependent or kiss-and-run), with a clear link to human disease (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease). We will use innovative genetic screen approaches in flies and bacteria and study processes that regulate synaptic vesicle trafficking employing imaging, electrophysiology and electron microscopy with the ultimate hope of elucidating mechanisms of normal but also diseased brain function.

Lay summary

    Types: Investments > €500k
    Member States: Belgium
    Diseases: Parkinson's disease & PD-related disorders
    Years: 2011
    Database Categories: N/A
    Database Tags: N/A

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