Ginny G. Farías received a VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). This grant of 800,000 euros enables researchers to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group.
With this grant, Ginny Farías and her team will study how organelle organisation contributes to neuronal function.
The formation of discrete membrane-bound organelles ensures the segregation of incompatible processes within the cell, but these organelles must be organised and coordinated to ensure a proper cellular function. In neurons, this organelle organisation and networking is much more complex because they present a highly asymmetric structure, such the axonal and somatodendritic domains. Organelle disorganisation/dysfunction has been strongly involved in several neurological diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spastic paraplegia. However, it is unknown if the organelle disorganisation is the cause or just a consequence of the impaired neuronal function.
Her team will develop innovative approaches to modify organelle positioning and organisation, in combination with high spatio-temporal resolution imaging to study organelle dynamics in neurons. With this VIDI grant, her team will study how local organisation of membranous organelles contributes to the organelle function and intracellular interconnectivity. Ultimately, the goal is to unravel the mechanisms by which organelle networking contributes to the development and maintenance of neuronal polarity.