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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

February 16, 2022 / News, Research paper

Astrocyte function in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease on GLIA

Astrocytes are literally the star cells of our brains! PhD candidate Christiaan Huffels, from the group of Elly Hol, recently published a study on astrocyte function in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease in the scientific journal GLIA.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the main form of dementia in the elderly, characterised by the accumulation of amyloid-ß protein. In this study, Huffels and his colleagues examined the role of astrocyte function in Alzheimer’s Disease. They focused on Kir4.1 expression and function, which is an ion channel that is essential for the role of astrocytes in the maintenance of tissue ion homeostasis. Despite localised increase in Kir4.1 protein expression, astrocyte Kir4.1 channel dysfunction is likely not involved in the pathogenesis of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. This study hereby provides more in-depth insight into the development of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and provides directions for future research. After this study was accepted for publication, one of the images was selected for the cover of GLIA.

Christiaan was happily surprised: “I thought it was great that they asked me to provide an image for the cover and immediately agreed, as this can draw extra attention to the interesting study we performed.”

The research was primarily performed at our Translational Neuroscience Department at UMC Bran Center, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam and University of Bonn. The study was supported by the University of Amsterdam, ZonMW, and Alzheimer Nederland.

January 24, 2022 / News, positions

Two tenure track assistant professor positions (EXPIRED ON 28-02-2022)

We are recruiting young talent for two tenure track assistant professor positions!

Tenure track assistant professor in cell and molecular neurobiology

A tenure track assistant professor position in molecular and cellular neurobiology is now open for applications! We seek outstanding candidates with an excellent track record in cellular or mouse (transgenic, viral-induced) models of human brain disease and with expertise in state-of-the-art genome editing and bioinformatics. The candidate should have an interest in neuron-glia interactions, development of brain circuits, and brain diseases. The relevant UMCU post is here.

Tenure track assistant professor in advanced human iPSC modeling

A tenure track assistant professor position in advanced human iPSC modeling is now open for applications! We seek an outstanding candidate with an excellent track record in cellular models of human brain disease (iPS cells, organoids) and associated state-of-the-art molecular (e.g. genome editing) and neurophysiological techniques (e.g. calcium imaging, patch-clamping, multiple-electrode arrays). The candidate should have an interest in neuron-glia interactions, development and function of brain circuits, and brain diseases. The relevant UMCU post is here.

Visit our recruitment page for more details. 

November 26, 2021 / Grants, News

XS grant for Danai Riga

Post-doc researcher Danai Riga investigates ways to raise our body’s defends against stress, in order to prevent the development of anxiety. In particular, she aims to understand how built-in anti-stress systems work, and how to harness their therapeutic potential to alleviate anxiety. She received an XS grant (50.000 euro), via the NWO’s Open Competition Domain Science, which supports the fast implementation of curiosity-driven, groundbreaking ideas. Her project, titled “Stamps of resilience: elucidating the molecular diversity of the brain’s anti-stress system”, will examine the unique molecular identity of neuronal cells that mediate stress-relief.

Npy Neurons will be the focus of this grant
Npy neurons in Locus Coeruleus play an important role in stress response
Danai Riga receives XS-grant
Danai Riga

“I am honoured to have received the XS grant, which will help me realise an exciting set of experiments in collaboration with other researchers of the Brain Center. Together, we will provide a detailed molecular map of our brain’s anti-stress system. We hope this will form the basis for uncovering novel targets for the treatment of anxiety”

She will perform the described work at the Translational Neuroscience department together with Frank Meye and colleagues

Congratulations!! 🎊👏

Vacancies

We welcome open applications from PhD candidates and postdocs.

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