Neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory processes are highly characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases and are related to the ageing of the brain. The MOLAR research programme intends to improve early diagnosis, monitoring, and timely treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

The MOLAR programme is aimed at:

  • Defining genetic, transcriptome, and proteomic signatures of the healthy, ageing, and diseased brain;
  • Unravelling basic and other factors contributing to brain ageing and neurodegenerative diseases, such as DNA damage mechanisms, loss of protein homeostasis, and neuroinflammation;
  • Developing novel technologies for diagnosis and monitoring of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as imaging techniques;
  • Developing novel tools for regenerative strategies, such as anti-inflammatory compounds and cell-based therapy;
  • Defining targets for effective treatment.
Relevance

Expanding and sharing knowledge about the ageing brain

Healthy Ageing is a primary focus of research, patient care, education, and training within the University of Groningen (UG) and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). The MOLAR research programme, part of the Research Institute Brain and Cognition, is in line with that strategy. The MOLAR research allows for improved early diagnosis, monitoring, and timely treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

The relevance of the MOLAR research will be obvious in many ways.

  • Extending our collaborations within the European Ageing Brain Network will lead to improvement and increased visibility of the scientific output in terms of publications (ranking in the top 10% for its field of research), PhD theses, and joint grant applications.

  • The MOLAR programme provides integrated educational platforms, including bimonthly MOLAR science days to promote interdepartmental interaction between staff members and PhD students to facilitate scientific exchange and sharing technical expertise.

    The MOLAR researchers initiate and participate in national and international grant applications.

    The MOLAR researchers also actively participate in national and international biomedical societies, such as the Dutch Glia Society, the Dutch Society for Neuroscience, Dutch Society for MS Research, Alzheimer Nederland, the European Glia Society, the European Huntington's Disease Network, and the international C. elegans research community.

  • Considerable efforts are made to share socially relevant MOLAR research with patients, patient organizations, and the general public by participating in public events organized by the interfaculty research institute BCN and in events organized by the Multiple Sclerosis Center Noord Nederland and NoNe-GON.

     

  • The team promotes the valorization of MOLAR research by raising awareness among MOLAR principal investigators (PIs) about intellectual property regulations and the patent potential of their discoveries.