Research focus

The Rosa Rademakers Lab is focused on the discovery and functional characterization of novel disease genes implicated in a range of neurological disorders, in particular frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and related disorders and epilepsy.


FTLD represents 10-20% of all dementias and is clinically important because of its early onset and its dramatic impact on core human qualities, including personality, insight and verbal communication. While significant progress has been made in recent years to improve our understanding of the genetics of FTLD and the pathologies underlying this collection of neurodegenerative diseases, the etiology of the disease remains unknown in more than half of the patients.



The Rademakers Lab leads world-wide consortia to identify causal genes and genetic risk factors for two important pathological subtypes of FTLD: FTLD with TDP-43 pathology (FTLD-TDP) and FTLD with FUS pathology (FTLD-FUS). We combine genomic, transcriptomic, epigenomic and proteomic analyses on unique collections of FTLD-TDP and FTLD-FUS brain tissues to identify genes and pathways implicated in disease. We also lead consortia focused on genetic disease modifiers in FTLD patients which are known to carry mutations in GRN and C9orf72 with the goal to identify factors that could explain the large variability in symptom onset, clinical phenotype and disease penetrance in patients with these mutations.

Prof. Rosa Rademakers

We also leverage our genetic findings to further the understanding of FTLD and related disorders through the generation of cell and mouse models. Most recently, we are focusing on TMEM106B, a lysosomal protein with relatively unknown function which we found to be the major modifier of disease in patients with GRN mutations. In particular, we found that individuals with a GRN mutation who also carry a protective TMEM106B haplotype have about 50% lower odds of developing disease symptoms as compared to GRN mutation carriers who do not carry this haplotype, whereas individuals with two copies of the protective TMEM106B haplotype almost never develop disease. Understanding the mechanism by which TMEM106B exerts its protection is the goal of our current research efforts. We have generated several TMEM106B mouse models, including TMEM106B CRISPR/Cas9 knock-in mice with possible protective and risk variants. Careful assessments of these mice on wild-type and GRN knock-out backgrounds is ongoing to increase our understanding of TMEM106B and its potential as a therapeutic target.


Our group also hosts the Weckhuysen subgroup focused on the identification of novel genes and genetic mechanisms implicated in epilepsy, with a special emphasis on developmental and epileptic encephalopathies. This team is at the international forefront of epilepsy genetics research as a result of the extensive expertise in the systematic collection of deeply phenotyped patient samples and important contributions to epilepsy gene discoveries. Current research efforts are focused on the identification of additional epilepsy genes and the use of iPSC derived neuronal cultures and brain organoids to provide mechanistic insights in KCNQ2-related disease.


The work in the Rademakers group may contribute to more accurate and earlier diagnosis of patients, to the development of biomarkers associated with disease phenotype and/or progression and to the identification of new targets for neurological disease therapies.

 

Selected Publications

  1. Potential genetic modifiers of disease risk and age at onset in patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and GRN mutations: a genome-wide association study. Pottier Cyril Zhou Xiaolai Perkerson Ralph Baker Matt Jenkins Gregory Serie Daniel Ghidoni Roberta Benussi Luisa Binetti Giuliano López de Munain Adolfo Zulaica Miren Moreno Fermin Le Ber Isabelle Pasquier Florence Hannequin Didier Sánchez-Valle Raquel Antonell Anna Lladó Albert Parsons Tammee Finch NiCole Finger Elizabeth Lippa Carol Huey Edward Neumann Manuela Heutink Peter Synofzik Matthis Wilke Carlo Rissman Robert Slawek Jaroslaw Sitek Emilia Johannsen Peter Nielsen Jørgen Ren Yingxue van Blitterswijk Marka DeJesus-Hernandez Mariely Christopher Elizabeth Murray Melissa Bieniek Kevin Evers Bret Ferrari Camilla Rollinson Sara Richardson Anna Scarpini Elio Fumagalli Giorgio Padovani Alessandro Hardy John Momeni Parastoo Ferrari Raffaele Frangipane Francesca Maletta Raffaele Anfossi Maria Gallo Maura Petrucelli Leonard Suh EunRan Lopez Oscar Wong Tsz van Rooij Jeroen G Seelaar Harro Mead Simon Caselli Richard Reiman Eric Noel Sabbagh Marwan Kjolby Mads Nykjaer Anders Karydas Anna Boxer Adam Grinberg Lea Grafman Jordan Spina Salvatore Oblak Adrian Mesulam M-Marsel Weintraub Sandra Geula Changiz Hodges John Piguet Olivier Brooks William Irwin David Trojanowski John Lee Edward Josephs Keith Parisi Joseph Ertekin-Taner Nilüfer Knopman David Nacmias Benedetta Piaceri Irene Bagnoli Silvia Sorbi Sandro Gearing Marla Glass Jonathan Beach Thomas Black Sandra Masellis Mario Rogaeva Ekaterina Vonsattel Jean-Paul Honig Lawrence Kofler Julia Bruni Amalia Snowden Julie Mann David Pickering-Brown Stuart Diehl-Schmid Janine Winkelmann Juliane Galimberti Daniela Graff Caroline Öijerstedt Linn Troakes Claire Al-Sarraj Safa Cruchaga Carlos Cairns Nigel Rohrer Jonathan Halliday Glenda Kwok John van Swieten John White Charles Ghetti Bernardino Murell Jill Mackenzie Ian R Hsiung Ging-Yuek Borroni Barbara Rossi Giacomina Tagliavini Fabrizio Wszolek Zbigniew Petersen Ronald Bigio Eileen Grossman Murray Van Deerlin Vivianna Seeley William Miller Bruce Graff-Radford Neill Boeve Bradley Dickson Dennis Biernacka Joanna Rademakers Rosa LANCET NEUROLOGY, 17, 548-558, 2018

  2. TIA1 Mutations in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia Promote Phase Separation and Alter Stress Granule Dynamics. Mackenzie Ian Nicholson Alexandra Sarkar Mohona Messing James Purice Maria Pottier Cyril Annu Kavya Baker Matt Perkerson Ralph Kurti Aishe Matchett Billie Mittag Tanja Temirov Jamshid Hsiung Ging-Yuek Krieger Charles Murray Melissa Kato Masato Fryer John Petrucelli Leonard Zinman Lorne Weintraub Sandra Mesulam Marsel Keith Julia Zivkovic Sasha Hirsch-Reinshagen Veronica Roos Raymond Züchner Stephan Graff-Radford Neill Petersen Ronald Caselli Richard Wszolek Zbigniew Finger Elizabeth Lippa Carol Lacomis David Stewart Heather Dickson Dennis Kim Hong Joo Rogaeva Ekaterina Bigio Eileen Boylan Kevin Taylor J Paul Rademakers Rosa NEURON, 95, 808-816.e9, 2017

  3. Prosaposin is a regulator of progranulin levels and oligomerization. Nicholson Alexandra Finch NiCole Almeida Marcio Perkerson Ralph van Blitterswijk Marka Wojtas Aleksandra Cenik Basar Rotondo Sergio Inskeep Venette Almasy Laura Dyer Thomas Peralta Juan Jun Goo Wood Andrew Frayling Timothy Fuchsberger Christian Fowler Sharon Teslovich Tanya Manning Alisa Kumar Satish Curran Joanne Lehman Donna Abecasis Goncalo Duggirala Ravindranath Pottier Cyril Zahir Haaris Crook Julia Karydas Anna Mitic Laura Sun Ying Dickson Dennis Bu Guojun Herz Joachim Yu Gang Miller Bruce Ferguson Shawn Petersen Ronald Graff-Radford Neill Blangero John Rademakers Rosa Nature Communications, 7, 11992, 2016

  4. Mutations in the colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) gene cause hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids. Rademakers Rosa Baker Matt Nicholson Alexandra Rutherford Nicola Finch NiCole Soto-Ortolaza Alexandra Lash Jennifer Wider Christian Wojtas Aleksandra DeJesus-Hernandez Mariely Adamson Jennifer Kouri Naomi Sundal Christina Shuster Elizabeth Aasly Jan MacKenzie James Roeber Sigrun Kretzschmar Hans Boeve Bradley Knopman David Petersen Ronald Cairns Nigel Ghetti Bernardino Spina Salvatore Garbern James Tselis Alexandros Uitti Ryan Das Pritam Van Gerpen Jay Meschia James Levy Shawn Broderick Daniel Graff-Radford Neill Ross Owen Miller Bradley Swerdlow Russell Dickson Dennis Wszolek Zbigniew NATURE GENETICS, 44, 200-5, 2011

  5. Expanded GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat in noncoding region of C9ORF72 causes chromosome 9p-linked FTD and ALS. DeJesus-Hernandez Mariely Mackenzie Ian Boeve Bradley Boxer Adam Baker Matt Rutherford Nicola Nicholson Alexandra Finch NiCole Flynn Heather Adamson Jennifer Kouri Naomi Wojtas Aleksandra Sengdy Pheth Hsiung Ging-Yuek Karydas Anna Seeley William Josephs Keith Coppola Giovanni Geschwind Daniel Wszolek Zbigniew Feldman Howard Knopman David Petersen Ronald Miller Bruce Dickson Dennis Boylan Kevin Graff-Radford Neill Rademakers Rosa NEURON, 72, 245-56, 2011

 

Team

Rosa Rademakers

Rosa Rademakers

Group Leader
Sarah Weckhuysen

Sarah Weckhuysen

Staff Scientist
Hannah Stamberger

Hannah Stamberger

Post-Doctoral Researcher
Cristina Vicente

Cristina Vicente

Post-Doctoral Researcher
Wouter De Coster

Wouter De Coster

Postdoctoral researcher
Cyril Pottier

Cyril Pottier

Post-Doctoral Researcher
Nina Dirkx

Nina Dirkx

PhD student
Simona Manzella

Simona Manzella

PhD student
Noor Smal

Noor Smal

PhD student