Molecular Biology of Retinal Degenerations

Molekularbiologie degenerativer Netzhauterkrankungen

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Our Mission

Marius Ueffings's group focuses on medical proteomics as well as disease mechanisms. The group teams up with computational and structural biologists to develop and apply molecular and bioanalytical strategies towards functional analysis of protein complexes and protein networks in disease, cellular signaling pathways and disease associated protein networks involved in neurodegeneration. At the technical level, the group has developed a new generation of patented tandem affinity tags allowing fast and efficient complex purification without involving proteolytic cleavage of the tag as well as the investigation of systemic perturbation of protein networks in disease.

Research Topics

Age-related macular degeneration is the most frequent cause of vision loss in Europe. AMD destroys the cone photoreceptors of the central part of the retina needed for reading and driving. The pathways driving AMD are not understood. Our aim is to moving the understanding of AMD pathogenesis forward. We use biochemistry, proteomics, cell biology and modeling approaches in joint efforts with AMD laboratories to identify molecular drivers of AMD.

Retinal degeneration is a severe and diverse disease causing blindness. Current understanding of retinal degeneration does not go far enough to offer effective ways for therapy. Work carried out in the lab aims to supply better understanding and new therapies for retinal degeneration.

Malfunction of cilia can cause a wide variety of syndromic and non-sysndromic disorders that are described by the term ciliopathies. Photoreceptors are in the focus of ciliopathy research because virtually all ciliopathies come along with severe impairment of vision, caused by degeneration of the photoreceptors.

To advance the development of new diagnostic approaches in ophthalmology we are establishing a special bioanalytical lab equipped with cutting-edge mass spectrometric instrumentation.

The retina as a model system to investigate neuronal degeneration

Technology development in the context of the identification of disease mechanisms and the diagnosis of ophthalmology-relevant disorders

Parkinson Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. Besides the sporadic form of PD (idiopathic PD) characterized by a complex etiology and the absence of a clear pattern of inheritance, familial forms exist which are caused by single gene defects.