Julie van der Zee

Associate Professor Translational Genetics


Research group

VIB CMN - Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases Group


  • Julie van der Zee, PhD is an expert in the neurogenetics of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), together with Alzheimer’s disease a common cause of early-onset dementia. With a background in medical biology and molecular genetics she applies advanced genomic sequencing approaches on well-characterized patient collections and biomaterials to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of FTD and related disorders, and to identify targets for improved diagnosis and prognosis, and ultimately therapy development. In 2011, she co-founded and coordinates, together with Coordinator Christine Van Broeckhoven, the European Early-Onset Dementia Consortium, bringing together 41 expert research groups across Europe, joining efforts to collect well-documented patient cohorts of rare and understudied early-onset forms of dementia for neurogenetic and clinical research. In addition to her research activities, she gives regular educative lectures to patient and lay organizations to provide accessible information on progress made in dementia research, give visibility to the research programs and encourage volunteers to participate to research. Currently, her research focuses on exome and genome seqeuncing-based gene hunting in FTD and other early-onset dementia, in families and patient cohorts collected through the EU EOD Consortium. She applies advanced genomic and molecular pathway-based approaches for rare-variant prioritization in search of novel genetic factors and molecular targets for diagnostics and targeted therapy development.


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