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PhD defense

Marie Vestergaard Lukassen: TGFBI-linked Corneal Dystrophies – Study of protein structure, disease mechanism, and treatment strategies

PhD defence, Monday 8 April 2019, Marie Vestergaard Lukassen.

Marie Vestergaard Lukassen

During her PhD studies, Marie researched corneal dystrophies that are caused by mutations in the protein Transforming Growth Factor ?-Induced protein (TGFBIp). The disease manifests as insoluble protein deposits in the cornea, which makes it unclear and can cause blindness. The current knowledge about these diseases is insufficient and the treatments are ineffective.


Marie studied the structure of TGFBIp and the molecular mechanisms that underlies the disease progression. The new research findings contribute to the understanding of how mutations in TGFBIp leads to protein deposits and provide inspiration to development of novel treatment strategies.

The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.


Time: Monday 8 April 2019 at 13.00
Place: Building 1593, room 012, Auditorium iNANO House, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, Aarhus University
Title of PhD thesis: Transforming growth factor ?-induced protein – Structure characterization and insights into TGFBI-linked corneal dystrophies 
Contact information: Marie Vestergaard Lukassen, e-mail: mvl@inano.au.dk, tel.: +45 61718961
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Colin Willoughby, School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, United Kingdom
Associate Professor Allan Stensballe, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark
Professor Ken Howard (chair), iNANO, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Professor Jan J. Enghild, iNANO and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Co-supervisor:
Assistant Professor Ebbe T. Poulsen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English.