Aging Yeast to Understand Dementia
The similarity, or conservation, of cellular processes between human cells and yeast is striking. Well-known examples include autophagy, cell cycle regulation and nutrient-signalling cascades. This strong conservation of core cellular mechanisms offers a great opportunity to study complex processes in the unicellular yeast as a model system for us, humans. My main research project, funded by a personal VENI Grant from the NWO, builds and applies a novel, improved humanized yeast model to study neurodegenerative diseases linked to aging and energetics. For this we combine advanced (bioreactor) cultivation techniques with state-of-the-art synthetic biology tools and cell biology analyses.
Inspired by physiological and molecular responses of non-dividing yeast cells that age chronologically under extreme nutrient-limited, but not starvation, conditions, we set to raise retentostat cultures to a next-level model to study age-related pathologies in humans, more specifically Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. For this, I combine my strong background in quantitative physiology and yeast molecular and cell biology with the expertise of various international collaborators on humanized yeast cells and neurodegenerative diseases. I really enjoy that by applying my fascination for understanding cellular responses to environmental and internal changes, I can aid in solving current and future human challenges.
Thanks to the unique infrastructure of the IMB labs and the expertise of PIs and colleagues, used techniques include bioreactor fermentations, such as chemostat, retentostat and batch cultivations, metabolite analyses, fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry/FACS and CRISPR-Cas based genome editing.
News and Updates
Invited lecture PYFF2019
On June 25th I gave an invited lecture on "Physiology of yeast at near-zero specific growth rates" at the 7th Physiology of Yeast and Filamentous Fungi (PYFF) meeting in Milan. Even nicer than sharing the results from this long-running topic at IMB with the international audience, were the interactions and discussions afterwards with several experts and experts-to-be in the field, I look foward to follow-up collaborations.
Göktug started his BEP
April 1st, Göktug started his LS&T bachelor end project.
He will be exploring apoptosis in yeast under different conditions.
Welcome and good luck Göktug!
Aafke succesfully finished her MEP
Oct 19th, Aafke presented and succesfully defended her Master thesis.
Aafke worked on a collaborative project with Xin Chen and Dina Petranovic from Chalmers University and generated very exciting results!