Annerieke Sierksma

Annerieke Sierksma

Annerieke Sierksma

Staff Scientist - VIB & KU Leuven

Dr. Annerieke Sierksma is a staff scientist within the Center for Brain and Disease Research at VIB and the KU Leuven, working in the Laboratory for the Research of Neurodegenerative Diseases (lead by Prof. Bart De Strooper). She obtained a Master in Neuropsychology (2007) and a PhD in Neuroscience (2012; both at Maastricht University, the Netherlands) and subsequently moved to Belgium to continue her career researching the molecular and genetic underpinnings of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). She is currently leading two research projects researching how genetic risk for AD may modulate the response of microglia, the brain’s immune cells, to amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques, one of the neuropathological hallmarks of AD. To do so, she is using traditional single gene knock-out human stem cells, but is also looking at the effect of polygenic risk for AD (supported by a VLAIO ICON grant). In the latter approach, she is combining genetic data, human stem-cell derived microglia, xenotransplantation mouse models, single cell RNA sequencing and proteomics. Her strength lies in building bridges between people, groups and research domains and employing emerging state-of-the-art techniques to answer scientific questions.

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