I’m Dr. Ayşe Candayan-Niron, an MSCA-funded postdoctoral researcher in the Molecular Neurogenomics Group. I research Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a group of rare inherited disorders affecting the peripheral nervous system. More than 100 genes and thousands of mutations can cause this disease, however approximately 35% of patients still lack a genetic diagnosis. My goal is to bridge this diagnostic gap by finding new genes that can lead to this pathology.

In a recent study published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, Dr. Elias Adriaenssens, Prof. Vincent Timmerman and colleagues have discovered a new function for a group of proteins called small heat shock proteins (HSPBs) in the human body. These proteins, which are found in the liquid (cytosolic) portion of cells, were found to play a critical role in the maintenance of the powerhouses of cells, the mitochondria.

My name is Dr. Leen Vendredy and I recently obtained my PhD in Biotechnology and Biochemistry. My research focused on neuromuscular diseases caused by mutations in the small heat shock protein HSPB8. My goal was to better understand the underlying mechanisms of these diseases and to identify potential therapeutic approaches. My PhD supervisor was Prof. Vincent Timmerman from the Peripheral Neuropathies group.