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.

Bethan Burnside recently started her PhD in Biomedical Sciences with Professor Frank Kooy in the Cognitive Genetics Lab at the UAntwerp Center of Medical Genetics. She aims to explore the epigenetics of ADHD in adult women. Until recently, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was thought of as a neurodevelopmental condition that occurs in young boys. In fact, even Bethan believed this to be the case – until she was diagnosed with ADHD herself at the age of 25! Unfortunately, due to these misconceptions, ADHD in girls and women is often diagnosed too late or misdiagnosed as something else.

New research findings by Prof. Vincent Timmerman’s group has revealed common hallmarks in motor neurons of patients with different subtypes of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) type 2, including impaired axonal transport and mitochondrial dysfunction. Targeting these underlying disease mechanisms could pave the way for treatments that can help a larger group of CMT patients.