Scientific Teams

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Team “Brain Development”


Bassem Hassan’s team focuses on understanding the genetic mechanisms that regulate the early development of the nervous system from cell fate specification to neural circuit formation, to mechanisms of neural disease using Drosophila fruit flies as a model.


Bassem Hassan’s team will work on 3 major topics. First, the relationship between individuality in brain wiring and individual behavioral tendencies. Second, the molecular mechanisms that drive neural stem cells towards differentiation. Third, work on disease mechanism will investigate whether the physiological function of the Amyloid Precursor Protein as a Wnt pathway modulator is relevant to its role in Alzheimer’s disease pathology, and whether the Fragile X protein plays a role in brain mosaicism.

Major publications

Hassan, B. A. and P. Robin Hiesinger. 2015. Beyond Molecular Codes: Simple Rules to Wire Complex Brains. Cell 163:285-91.

Okray, Z., C E.F. de Esch, H. Van Esch, K. Devriendt, A. Claeys, J. Yan, J. Verbeeck, G. Froyen, R. Willemsen, F. M.S. de Vrij, and B. A. Hassan. 2015. A novel fragile X syndrome mutation reveals a conserved role for the carboxy-terminus in FMRP localization and function. EMBO Mol. Med. 7:423-37.

Langen M., M. Koch, J. Yan, N. De Geest, M-L Erfurth, B. D. Pfeiffer, D. Schmucker, Y. Moreau and B. A. Hassan. 2013. Mutual inhibition among neighboring postmitotic neurons regulates individuality and robustness of brain wiring. eLife 2:e00337.

Xiao-Jiang Quan, Liqun Yuan, Luca Tiberi, Annelies Claeys, Natalie De Geest, Jiekun Yan, Rob van der Kant, Wei R. Xie, Tiemo J. Klisch, Joost Shymkowitz, Frederic Rousseau, Mathieu Bollen, Monique Beullens, Huda Y. Zoghbi, Pierre Vanderhaeghen, Bassem A. Hassan. Post-translational Control of the Temporal Dynamics of Transcription Factor Activity Regulates Neurogenesis.

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Team members