Neuro­degenerative Science

Overview

Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Worldwide, between 7 million to 10 million people have Parkinson’s disease and more than 30 million have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Currently, there is no cure and no effective way to slow or stop disease progression.

VAI scientists aim to change that by investigating the complex factors that give rise to neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, from genetics and epigenetics to aging, inflammation and the structure of the brain itself — even the role of the gut and the immune system. By leveraging discoveries made in VAI’s labs and collaborating with researchers around the world, our scientists are working to translate breakthroughs into life-changing new treatments for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and related dementias, and depression.

West Michigan Neurodegenerative Diseases (MiND) Program

Van Andel Institute’s West Michigan Neurodegenerative Diseases (MiND) Program is a collaborative effort to identify genetic and epigenetic changes that may play roles in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Our goal? To move the needle in our understanding of these diseases, power new discoveries and leverage our findings to inform groundbreaking treatment strategies.

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Our Faculty

Darren Moore, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Molecular Neurodegeneration

José Brás, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Genomic Sciences and Neurodegeneration

Lena Brundin, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Behavioral Medicine

Hong-Yuan Chu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Neural Circuits and Neurodegeneration

Gerhard (Gerry) Coetzee, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Post-GWAS Functionality

Rita Guerreiro, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Genomic Sciences and Neurodegeneration

Michael Henderson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Protein Pathologies and Genetic Risk in Neurodegeneration

Qiang Zhu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Genetics, Epigenetics and Therapeutic Innovation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

WEST MICHIGAN NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE (MIND) PROGRAM STAFF

Laurent Roybon, Ph.D.

Director, iPSC Platform

Erin Williams, Ph.D.

Research Program Manager – MiND

Recent Publications

Our Impact

We're raising thousands to save millions

We’re turning hope into action for the millions of people around the world affected by diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s. Find out how you can help us make a difference.

  • 171 studies published from Nov. 1, 2020 to Oct. 1, 2021
  • 68 studies in high-impact journals from Nov. 1, 2020-Oct. 1, 2021
  • 41 clinical trials launched
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