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The SynSys Project

Featuring the Synapse

Major disorders of the Central Nervous System (CNS) affect one in three people in the developed world, often seriously disable the affected individual, and together account for the single largest burden on the healthcare systems of the EU. Most of these disorders act at the neuronal synapse, a cellular organelle comprising in the order of 2000 proteins. Cross-talk between proteins and the complexity of the underlying signalling complexes pose a significant challenge to dissecting the molecular mechanisms of disease and to design efficient drugs. SynSys assembles leading European laboratories to provide the expertise and established research platforms that uniquely enable a systems-level analysis of synaptic signalling.

Systems biology of the Synapse

The consortium features a closed loop from data integration and modelling, human genetics, physiology, proteomics and the application of engineered model systems to test model predictions. The main objectives of this project are to

  • provide a qualitative and quantitative description of the protein composition and the interactome of the mammalian glutamatergic synapse that integrates known human variation in these genes;
  • to generate quantitative dynamic models describing the main functional features of the synaptic system;
  • to reiterate on modeling by relating model predictions to synaptic function;
  • to identify and validate;
  • using appropriate model systems, human vulnerability genes that may form the basis of future therapies.

A European expertise Network on building the synapse

To focus European efforts and to significantly accelerate the progress in this scientifically and pharmaceutically important area of research, the SynSys consortium assembles well-established international expertise spanning the academic and SME sectors to provide a technology workflow of experimental and computational scientists, to embark on the next step in synapse structure, function, modeling for future drug discovery enabling the combat of brain diseases. SynSys will collaborate with other European consortia dedicated to the study of dysfunction of the central nervous system.

4th European Synapse Meeting

28 - 30 August 2013
Bordeaux, France

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