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Frederik Willem Van Leeuwen

Frederik Willem Van Leeuwen

Neuroscientist
University of Maastricht
The Netherlands

Biography

Dr. F.W. van Leeuwen, PhD is a neuroscientist with over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers to his name. His team works at the University Maastricht. He was trained as a neurobiologist and obtained his PhD degree in 1980. After branching out into the field of molecular neurobiology in the nineties, he discovered a new mechanism, dubbed molecular misreading; the inaccurate conversion of genomic information into aberrant transcripts and mutant proteins (e.g. mutant ubiquitin B, UBB+1). These appeared to be present in the hallmarks (e.g. plaques and tangles) of sporadic Alzheimer and Down syndrome patients, but not in young non-demented controls. This was the cover story of Science 279, January 9th, 1998. The message is that the mutant proteins accumulate and contribute to neuronal dysfunctioning, e.g. by inhibiting the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This article has been named a “milestone paper”, and Dr. van Leeuwen has been invited to participate in an Alzheimer-100 book because it was 100 years ago that Dr. Alzheimer published his first article on the disease.

Research Interest

Neurodegenerative disorders,Down syndrome,Alzheimer’s disease