Kerensa Broersen

“An analysis of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease-associated risk factors on the toxicity of Abeta aggregation”

Kerensa Broersen was born in 1975 in Hoorn, The Netherlands. She obtained an MSc in Nutrition and Food Management in 1998 at the University of Huddersfield, UK and a PhD in the biophysical characterisation of food protein aggregation in 2005 at the University of Wageningen, The Netherlands. Her first postdoctoral research at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK, concerned the study of protein-lipid interactions involved in Parkinson’s disease. She is now appointed as a professor at the University of Brussels and works in the field of Alzheimer’s disease.

The granted project is titled: “An analysis of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease-associated risk factors on the toxicity of Abeta aggregation”. Aggregation of the Abeta peptide is believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease. We will study how natural (in-brain) effectors of Abeta oligomerisation interfere with the mechanism and stability of Abeta oligomers and, hence, augment or diminish the toxic action of Abeta in the brain. Results will be verified in vivo using cell culture and animal behaviour assays. The outcome of this study will be used to develop therapeutic strategies using chemical compound screening assays.