Jelle van den Ameele is an Honorary Consultant Neurologist. He grew up in the historic town of Bruges in Belgium and went to medical school at Ghent University, where he completed his specialty training in Neurology in 2014. During his medical training, he became fascinated by the development of the brain and did a PhD at the Free University of Brussels to study the generation of nerve cells from embryonic stem cells. After completion of his training, Jelle moved to Cambridge in 2014. He joined the mitochondrial genetics clinic at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and conducted a postdoctoral research project into metabolism of brain development at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge. In 2020, Jelle became a Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellow at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit (MBU). In the lab, he mostly works with fruit flies, whose brains develop in a surprisingly similar way to ours. By genetically modifying the flies, he generates models of mitochondrial disease, and studies how this affects the different types of cells in the brain, with the hope that this will help us to better understand why patients with mitochondrial disease can have such a diverse range of symptoms, and how we could potentially treat them.
Dr Van den Ameele’s Laboratory
Dr Van den Ameele’s laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms of tissue specificity in mitochondrial disease. Using various model systems, with a weak spot for the small fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, Jelle employs advanced genetic tools and combines these with confocal and super-resolution imaging, biosensors, and innovative sequencing approaches to study the effects of tissue- and cell-type specific mitochondrial dysfunction in vivo, in the developing and aging brain.
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