Stephanie Dooves awarded a grant from the TSC fonds

06 July 2021

With the €30.000 grant Stephanie Dooves will use patient-derived stem cell models to study Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) disease mechanisms in the project “Targeting astrocytes to improve neuronal functioning in TSC”.

Role of astrocytes

The CTG Stem Cell lab uses human stem cell models to study brain cells and have developed protocols to generate both neurons and glia. TSC is a severe genetic disorder causing tumor formation and brain abnormalities. In a previous study, Stephanie Dooves and colleagues showed that astrocytes of TSC patients affect neuronal development through secreted factors. The TSC fonds project will focus on measuring the effect of astrocyte secreted factors on neuronal activity and explore options to target astrocytes as a therapeutic strategy for TSC.

In a parallel project, funded by a personal grant for Stephanie Dooves and in collaboration with the MCN Neuroproteomics department, proteomics analysis will be used to identify alterations in secreted factors between TSC and control astrocytes. Together these two studies will increase our understanding of the role of astrocytes in TSC disease mechanisms and may provide new therapeutic strategies.