Sorting out the complexity of α-Synuclein oligomers for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

PhD defence, Friday 10 February 2017. Femke van Diggelen.

2017.02.10 | Steffi Hjerrild Iversen

Femke van Diggelen

Aggregation of the protein α-Synuclein into oligomers is critically involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, making them interesting therapeutic targets. During her PhD studies, Femke prepared oligomers in the presence of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), which are oligomeric species on which scientific literature is limited. She characterized these different oligomers in extend, by examining their biophysical, chemical, dynamical and functional properties. She subsequently used these oligomers to identify their cellular binding partner using a proteomics-based screen, and identified six synaptic proteins which might contribute to oligomer toxicity.

The new research findings expand the current knowledge on DHA- and HNE-modified α-Synuclein oligomers and will hopefully contribute to the discovery of new disease modifying compounds, which can block the toxic interaction between the oligomers and their toxic binding partner.

Femke van Diggelen conducted part of her PhD at Crossbeta Biosciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands. The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 10 February 2017 at 13.15
Place: Building 1514, room 213, Lecture Theatre I, Department of Chemistry, Langelandsgade 140, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C.
Title of dissertation: Targeting α-synuclein oligomers: The importance of characterisation
Contact information:
Femke van Diggelen, e-mail: , tel.: +31 30253 8823
Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Amitabha Chattopadhyay, Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India
Professor Niels Heegaard, Department Head at Department of Autoimmunology & Biomarkers, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen; Department of Clinical Biochemistry; Clinical Institute, Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark
Associate Professor Ken Howard (chair), iNANO, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Professor Daniel Otzen, iNANO and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Dr Armand Tepper, Crossbeta Biosciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 16.03.2018