Franc Llorens, PhD and Inga Zerr, MD

Grant Title: Implementation of a blood-based biomarker test for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob in clinical practice”

Location: The Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Spain and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Grant Year: 2021



Since early differentiation between prion diseases and other neuropsychiatric disorders is crucial for treatment and determination of prognosis, minimal-invasive and accurate diagnostic methods have to be established. This project aims to develop a blood-based diagnostic test for CJD. The blood plasma proteins t-tau, NfL, and GFAP reflect neuronal damage and were shown to be altered in CJD before. Our study aims to identify a so-called “composite biomarker” that will probably have a superior diagnostic accuracy compared to each protein alone. To achieve this, we will analyze a large number of blood samples from the biobank of the German National CJD Surveillance Centre.

About the Researcher:

Franc Llorens, PhD
The Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Spain

Inga Zerr, MD
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases – National Reference Ctr. for Surveillance of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies, Germany

Dr. Franc Llorens received his PhD at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2005. His postdoctoral training included stages at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), and the University Medical Center of Goettingen (Germany). In 2017, Dr. Llorens started his own group as PI at the Center for Networked Biomedical Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED) in Barcelona. His current research focus is the discovery of new fluid biomarkers for neurodegenerative dementias with utility in disease diagnosis and prognosis, as well as in monitoring for future clinical trials. This also includes the development and application of new and non-invasive analytic platforms based on multiplexing technologies. In this sense, Dr. Llorens always works hand in hand with clinicians contributing to solving the main challenges in the differential diagnostic context of rapidly progressive dementias.

Inga Zerr is Professor at the Clinical Medical School, Georg-August University Göttingen. She is Head of the National TSE Reference Center Germany and of the Neurochemistry lab at Dept. of Neurology. She published extensively in the field of prion diseases. She made substantial contributions in cerebrospinal fluid research in dementia. her current work focuses on understanding clinico- pathological heterogeneity of prion diseases and in the development of reliable disease-specific biomarkers.

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