Centre for Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Diseases



Human cognitive functions depend on the precise neural network formed by neurons in the brain. Neurons communicate through neurotransmission at the synapse, which comprises a presynaptic terminal that contains the active zone for neurotransmitter release, a postsynaptic apparatus that harbors a high density of receptors for relaying the signals to the target cell, and surrounding glial cells that modulate the efficacy of neurotransmission across the synapse. Synaptic dysfunction is associated with a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Therefore, the precise organization of synaptic proteins and the spatial and temporal coordination of synaptic signaling events are central topics in neurobiology. Although extensively studied, the molecular basis of neuronal development, plasticity and degeneration is not fully understood. The focus of the laboratory is to understand the molecular basis of synapse development and plasticity in the central nervous system, and the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease). The laboratory will also investigate the biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease and novel approaches for disease intervention.