Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Bellen, Hugo
Location Baylor College of Medicine
Primary Field Genetics
Secondary Field Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Election Citation
Bellen is the head of the Drosophila Gene Disruption Project to promote the study of gene function. His lab studies mechanisms associated with rare genetic diseases and neurodegeneration.
 Research Interests
Hugo Bellen's group has made major contributions to our understanding of synaptic transmission, nervous system development, and mechanisms of neurodegeneration. By studying the genetic and molecular features of synaptic transmission, his laboratory has provided key insights in the mechanisms of synaptic vesicle release and endocytosis. His group has also identified novel players in the Notch signaling pathway that affect neural development. As the head of the Drosophila Gene Disruption Project, his laboratory has developed numerous sophisticated genetic tools and generated tens of thousands of reagents that have reshaped the research landscape in Drosophila. ~Hugo Bellen's current research focuses on the discovery of rare new neurological disease genes and the elucidation of the pathogenic mechanisms of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases in collaboration with human geneticists. His lab is the home of the Model Organism Screening Center for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network of the National Institutes of Health. In the past few years, his group has also made major strides in solving key problems related to more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Friedreich ataxia, Alzheimer disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Parkinson disease. This research has revealed that different aspects of lipid metabolism are severely affected in these diseases and has provided inroads in therapeutic approaches that are currently being tested in mice and humans. ~

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