Gonçalo Castelo-Branco Group
Our research group is interested in the molecular mechanisms defining the epigenetic state of cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage.
We are focused on how interplay between transcription factors, non-coding RNAs and chromatin modifying enzymes contribute to the transition between epigenetic states within the oligodendrocyte lineage, with the aim to design epigenetic based-therapies to induce regeneration (remyelination) in demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
Three KI researchers awarded ERC Advanced Grants
Three professors at Karolinska Institutet – Gonçalo Castelo-Branco, Maria Eriksson and Björn Högberg – have been awarded ERC Advanced Grants, one of the most prestigious and competitive EU funding schemes. The funds, totaling more than 8 million euros, will support the use of innovative basic research methods to further our understanding of disease mechanisms and the tiniest building blocks of DNA.
New technology maps where and how cells read their genome
A new study published in Nature reports that a technology known as spatial omics can be used to map simultaneously how genes are switched on and off and how they are expressed in different areas of tissues and organs. This improved technology, developed by researchers at Yale University and Karolinska Institutet, could shed light on the development of tissues, as well as on certain diseases and how to treat them.
Simultaneous mapping of several different epigenetic landmarks in a single cell
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University have developed a new technology allowing simultaneous probing of several different histone marks in one individual cell and in thousands of cells at the same time. This new method allows to investigate in much greater detail how cells in the mouse brain acquire unique properties and specialize. The study is published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
Gonçalo Castelo-Branco receives the Hans Wigzell Research Foundation’s science prize
The Hans Wigzell Research Foundation (Hans Wigzells Forskningsstiftelse) awards its annual scientific prize to Professor Gonçalo Castelo-Branco. He receives the prize of SEK 925,000 for his important research around oligodendrocytes – a cell type which plays important roles in relation to how the human brain develops and functions.
New technology to understand cell types and how diseases develop
An ongoing effort to create detailed molecular atlases of individual cells in different tissues aims to better understand how diseases develop. Now, a team of researchers from Yale and Karolinska Institutet, has developed a technology that brings that goal one step closer. The findings were published in Nature.
New technique allows mapping of mechanisms of tissue development
In a new study published in Science, researchers at Yale University, in collaboration with researchers at Karolinska Institutet, have developed a technique that gives very precise information about the location of activated and inactivated genes in a specific tissue. This can provide important knowledge about how different tissues develop and how epigenetic regulation contributes to the development of disease.
New genetic clues on multiple sclerosis risk
Gonçalo Castelo-Branco, Mandy Meijer, and Eneritz Agirre, have discovered that a cell type in the central nervous system known as oligodendrocytes might have a different role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) than previously thought. The findings, published in the journal Neuron, could open for new therapeutical approaches to MS.
Hello Gonçalo Castelo-Branco, new Professor of Glial Cell Biology
Gonçalo Castelo Branco is newly appointed Professor of Glial Cell Biology. We talked to him about the next steps in his research and the job he was dreaming of as a kid.
Gonçalo Castelo-Branco is awarded the Eric K. Fernström prize 2021
Gonçalo Castelo-Branco at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics (MBB) at Karolinska Institutet, receives the 2021 Eric K. Fernström prize for young, especially promising and successful researchers, for his significant research in the oligodendrocyte/myelin field and multiple sclerosis. Note that the prize 2020 was advanced to 2021.
Technique allows mapping of epigenetic information in single cells at scale
Histones are tiny proteins that bind to DNA and hold information that can help turn on or off individual genes. We have developed a technique that makes it possible to examine how different versions of histones bind to the genome in tens of thousands of individual cells simultaneously. The technique was applied to the mouse brain and can be used to study epigenetics at a single-cell level in other complex tissues. The study is published in Nature Biotechnology.
Gonçalo Castelo-Branco awarded the Göran Gustafsson Prize in Medicine and Molecular Biology 2021
The prize is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and consists of a research grant of SEK 5.1 million, spread over three years, with a personal prize of SEK 250,000.
Distinct oligodendrocyte populations have spatial preference and different responses to spinal cord injury
Our latest, from Elisa et al., where we found that specific mature oligodendrocyte populations, MOL2 and MOL5/6, have a different distribution in the mouse brain and spinal cord, and differential susceptibility to spinal cord injury or the MS model EAE.
Crossing boundaries: Interplay between the immune system and oligodendrocyte lineage cells
A new open access review from Leslie and Gonçalo on immune oligodendroglia, part of a special series in Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology on Myelin, dedicated to the Nobel Mini-Symposium 55 The Dark Side of the Brain.
KAW project funding
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation grant of SEK 34,000,000 for the project "Insights on the role of oligodendroglia in the origin and progression of multiple sclerosis". The GCB lab is also part of the project "Epigenomic states underlying aggressive inflammation and brain tissue loss in Multiple Sclerosis" that has received funding as well.