The research in the Yalcin group is directed at understanding the genetic basis of mammalian brain biology in health and disease especially in childhood neurological diseases.
In neurogenetic diseases, the brain is frequently malformed and patients present with intellectual disability. However, a key unsolved issue is what cellular and molecular mechanisms underlie brain malformations and cognitive impairment. An important line of research is on the role of WD40-repeat (WDR) genes, one of the largest eukaryotic gene families, in corpus callosum development and neuronal connectivity. We hypothesize that the miswiring between neurons may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurological symptoms in a new class of diseases we refer to as “WDRopathies”. We are a group of experimental biologists who work together to address this question using mouse genetics in conjunction with molecular biology, cell biology, electrophysiology and bio-informatic approaches. Over the last few years, we have identified a dozen of WDR genes implicated in murine corpus callosum development including Atg16l1, Coro1c, Dmxl2, Eml1, Herc1, Hira, Kif21b, Nbeal1, Wdr37, Wdr47, Wdr52 and Wdr89.
The Yalcin group was started under the auspices of a Chair of Excellence in 2016 at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC) before joining the Centre for Translational and Molecular medicine (CTM) at the Inserm Unit 1231 GAD (Genetic of Development Anomalies) laboratory in Dijon to continue developing an innovative translational neuroscience program to bridge the gap between discoveries made in biological models and clinical research, with the ultimate goal of improving community health in the field of cognitive disorders.