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University Medical Center Groningen

Partner Profile

The University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is the second oldest medical faculty in The Netherlands (established in 1614). The Faculty of Medical Sciences has two tasks: providing medical scientific education and carrying out medical scientific research. Clinicians and scientific researchers work closely together in an attempt to unravel mechanisms of disease and to develop novel therapies. Therefore, the characteristic research at the University Medical Center Groningen is the combination of fundamental research and patient-oriented (clinical) research. The UMCG is currently involved in over 35 EU-FP-7 projects and in 2 projects funded by European Research projects on Rare Diseases 2009 (Prof. Sibon is partner in one of the latter “ENIMA”).


Prof. Ody C.M. Sibon has a strong background in establishing Drosophila models to understand rare neurodegenerative disorders  and to use the models to search for protective compounds that can serve as a base to develop future therapies. She is currently partner of an EU-consortium (ENIMA, which includes the TUM and the UMCG). There, she is responsible to develop Drosophila models for neurodegenerative disorders related to PKAN. She was the coordinator of a previous consortium (TREATPKAN) that included several partners of the current proposal (UMCG, CMHI, OHSU, TUM). She has funded grants and publications with TIRCON partner OHSU. Recently, in close collaboration with Dr. Reijngoud (Department of Laboratory Medicine), TIRCON partner OHSU and The Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Groningen, she demonstrated that pantethine has high potential to treat PKAN. This fruitful collaboration will be continued in the current proposal.

Main tasks in the consortium

• Leader of WP5 (The potential of pantethine and pantethine derivatives to treat PKAN)
• Partner in WP6