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Translational Neuroscience

The research mission of the Department of Translational Neuroscience is to discover and delineate mechanisms and processes which are fundamental to the development of neural systems and to the control of behavior as well as to translate these to pathogenesis and disease models. We use cutting edge technology, disease models as well as computational tools to achieve these goals.

Our teaching mission is to raise the next generation scientists and clinicians with state-of-the-art knowledge, technical expertise and vision in the field of neuroscience. As a part of this effort, we teach in several Bachelor courses, coordinate the Neuroscience and Cognition master program of the Utrecht University and offer doctoral and postdoctoral training.

News

October 28, 2022 / Graduation, News

Renata Vieira de Sá finalises her PhD on ALS

Renata Vieira de Sá and her committee
Dr. Renata Vieira de Sá with her family and the PhD committee
Renata Vieira de Sá receives her PhD degree
Renata Vieira de Sá receives her PhD degree

Another successful PhD on ALS! On Thursday 20th of October Renata Vieira de Sa defended her PhD thesis “Repeat expansions in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis  (ALS). Lessons from patient-derived models” at the Academiegebouw of Utrecht University. In her PhD thesis, Renata studied the contribution of C9orf72 and Ataxin2 repeat expansion to ALS using different patient-derived models including brain organoids and 2D motor neurons. She was supervised by promotors Jeroen Pasterkamp and Leonard van den Berg. This PhD on ALS further solidifies UMC Utrecht Brain Center as a leader in the field. Her work on human organoid models was instrumental in developing the cellular diversity. Renata continues her career as a post doctoral researcher at uniQure B.V. and the OrganoVIR labs in the AMC where she will continue developing advanced human models.

“It was a pleasure to defend my thesis after working on this topic for so long! It was a great way to conclude my time at the brain Center ” Renata

Once again, congratulations!

October 25, 2022 / Graduation, News

PhD defense of Christiaan Huffels

Dr. Christiaan Huffels with his committee

On Tuesday October 18, Christiaan Huffels successfully defended his PhD thesis, titled “Tracing the signals: Unravelling neuron-glia interactions in Alzheimer’s disease”, at the Academiegebouw of Utrecht University. In his thesis, Christiaan examined the role of astrocytes and microglia in the early development of Alzheimer’s disease using a multidisciplinary approach, combining the use of slice electrophysiology, calcium imaging, immunohistochemistry, behavioral analyses, and pharmacological interventions. He was supervised by promotor Prof. dr. Elly Hol and co-promotor Dr. Jinte Middeldorp. For his next career step, he will continue his work as a postdoc in the lab of Prof. dr. Elly Hol at the University Medical Center Utrecht Brain Center, where he will focus on developing functional assays on human cell culture systems.

 

“I enjoyed working on this interesting topic for 4.5 years and I am grateful to have ended it in such a great way! It was a great day and I’m happy to continue working in the Hol lab to further develop my skills as a researcher” Christiaan Huffels

Dr. Christiaan Huffels receives his diploma from prof. Elly Hol

The work for his thesis was performed at the Translational Neuroscience department. His output include articles titled “Aß Pathology and Neuron-Glia Interactions: A Synaptocentric View” published at the Neurochemical Research and “Systemic Injection of Aged Blood Plasma in Adult C57BL/6 Mice Induces Neurophysiological Impairments in the Hippocampal CA1” published at Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. We are looking forward to his contribution to the scientific research.

 

September 15, 2022 / Meeting, News

GliaNed meeting 2022

Big success with the annual GliaNed meeting! The main goals of this informal meeting are to stimulate interaction between glia researchers in The Netherlands and to exchange knowledge. Elly Hol (translational neuroscience, UMCU) and Wia Baron (UMCG) put together a great program and were thrilled to have Prof. Inge Huitinga to open the show with her keynote lecture on ‘The role of microglia in MS and major depression’.

The meeting got additional contribution from our department. Carla Gomes da Silva presented her work on how oligodendrocyte precursors regulate cortical networks during mammalian development. Werner Dykstra explained how he studies the role of the astrocyte cytoskeletion in brain organoids. Several other researchers throughout the Netherlands have presented their latest research.

GliaNed meeting

“It is very impressive how glia is involved practically in every brain process and disease you can imagine. GliaNed is providing an essential platform to bring researchers of this rapidly growing field together” Onur Basak

We hope to see the community at the next GliaNed meeting in Groningen.

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Vacancies

We welcome open applications from PhD candidates and postdocs.

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