‘Healthy Ageing’ is a primary focus of research, patient care, education and training within the University of Groningen and the UMCG. MOLAR, as a program of Research Institute Brain and Cognition, is part of that strategy. The overarching goal of MOLAR is to improve early diagnosis, monitoring and timely treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. This is achieved by identifying age-associated changes in the ageing brain and their possible confounding role in the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases and co-morbidities.
The program strives to achieve the following objectives:
- To define genetic/transcriptome signatures of ageing of the healthy and diseased brain.
- To elucidate basic factors/confounders of brain ageing and neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. DNA damage mechanisms, loss of protein homeostasis, and neuroinflammation.
- To develop novel technology for diagnosis and monitoring of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. novel imaging techniques.
- To develop novel tools for regenerative strategies, e.g. anti-inflammatory compounds and cell-based therapy.
- To define targets for effective treatment.
MOLAR strives to provide a high-quality interactive research environment by:
Broadening its collaborations within the European Ageing Brain Network, which will lead to improvement and greater visibility of the scientific output in terms of publications (top 10% of its field of research), PhD theses and joint grant applications.
Developing integrated educational platforms, including the organization of a 2-monthly MOLAR science days for promoting interdepartmental interaction between staff members and PhD students to facilitate scientific exchange and sharing of technical expertise. Initiating and/or participating in national and International grant applications. Actively participating in national and international biomedical societies, such as the Dutch Glia Society, Dutch Society for Neuroscience, Dutch Society for MS Research, Alzheimer Nederland, European Glia Society, European Huntington’s Disease Network, international C. elegans community.
Actively promoting socially relevant MOLAR research to patients, patient organizations and the general public, by participating in public events of the interfaculty research institute BCN and also in events of the MS Centrum Noord Nederland and NoNe-GON.
Promoting the valorization of MOLAR research by raising awareness among MOLAR PI’s about intellectual property regulations and the patent potential of their discoveries