The Shapeshifters Symposium; Plasticity – Here, There, and Everywhere

Join and contribute to the The Shapeshifters Symposium; Plasticity – Here, There, and Everywhere ! Plasticity, the ability to be molded in various forms while maintaining a core identity, is a term that is increasingly used within various fields of science, e.g. neuroscience, plant- and cell biology, and within the humanities. …

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The World Premature Day

On the 17th of November, it is the World Premature Day that aims to increase awareness and understanding for the impact that a premature birth has on the baby and the newborn’s loved ones. In the Netherlands, there are many organisations that help premature babies and parents through their difficult …

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Elly Hol appointed vice dean of research

Elly Hol will start as vice dean of research at UMC Utrecht on January 1, 2024! Elly has been working at the UMC Utrecht for 10 years. She is professor of glial biology of brain diseases and is a member of the Academia Europaea and the KNAW. Our new vice …

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Pasterkamp explains brain atlases on NRC

Single cell atlases map brain cell types at high precision. A platoon of 21 recent papers published at the journal Science journals, including one by our new group leader Kimberly Siletti, sheds light in brain’s diversity. Prof. Jeroen Pasterkamp has given an interview to NRC (In Dutch) titled “Een atlas …

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Fundraising ALS researchers will climb the Mont Ventoux

Fundraising is fun! Two researchers of the Department of Translational Neuroscience will climb the Mont Ventoux in France during the Tour du ALS, a yearly event to raise funds for ALS research. Under the slogan “Let’s kick ALS out of the world together”, hundreds of cyclists, runners and hikers will, …

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Studying synapses in specific neural circuits

In recent years the combination of brain slice electrophysiological recordings of neurons in response to optogenetic stimulation of their input, has become an indispensable staple to probe the function of neural circuits. The large amounts of distinct metrics that one can obtain this way are both informative but also daunting …

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Renata Vieira de Sá finalises her PhD on ALS

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 …

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PhD defense of Christiaan Huffels

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 …

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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 …

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Inauguration of Elly Hol as a KNAW member

We proudly celebrate the inauguration of prof. Elly Hol of our Translational Neuroscience department as a Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) member 🎊! She is one of the 22 new members who were at the historic Trippenhuis this Monday. This is a great honor given to a …

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Leptin targets spatially diverse neurons

Leptin is a hormone that is secreted by fat and signals the need to stop eating and increase energy expenditure via leptin receptors (LepR). Various hunger and reward centers in the brain contain different LepR expressing neurons. The primary leptin center is the well-studied arcuate nucleus. Other hypothalamic nuclei are …

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Characterising social stress responsive ventral tegmental area neurons

In this study published at Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Ioannis Koutlas and colleagues of the Meye lab, use the expression of immediate-early genes to characterize social-stress activated neuronal subsets in the ventral tegmental area. They show that cells of different molecular identities (dopaminergic, GABAergic, glutamatergic and combinatorial neurons) that are …

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Cellular diversity of the developing mouse Habenula

The habenula (Hb) plays a key role in processing reward information and mediating aversive responses to negative stimuli. In the recent issue of Cell Reports, Lieke van de Haar and colleagues have revealed how the cellular diversity of the mouse habenula is formed during development. In the work title “Cellular …

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New Scientist Live! Hersenziekten in Tivoli

On Tuesday the 17th of May UMC Utrecht Brain Center and New Scientist organized ‘NewScientist Live! Hersenziekten in TivoliVredenburg. Several colleagues focused on the technologies of the future. It was an interesting evening, filled with exciting and necessary advances in brain research and patient care.  Prof. dr. Jeroen Pasterkamp and …

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KNAW membership of Elly Hol

Fantastic news from Elly Hol!! The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) announced that Prof. Elly Hol has been chosen as a new member. Members of the KNAW are leading scientists from all disciplines and are chosen on the basis of their scientific achievements. The KNAW has approximately …

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PhD defence of Andreia Duarte and Lieke van de Haar

PhD defence is a special occasion celebrating not only the graduation of a student but also the society gaining a new highly trained specialist. Last week, Andreia Duarte and Lieke van de Haar of the Pasterkamp lab have defended their PhD thesis with two in-person PhD defences at the Academiegebouw …

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Single-cell profiling adult human neural stem cells

Neural stem cells (NSCs) of the subventricular zone (SVZ) remain mostly in a dormant state in the adult human brain after closure of the neurogenic period at birth. These dormant progenitors rarely proliferate or produce neurons. How an adult human NSC is maintained in this quiescent state and could be …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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“A word about tomorrow” – 385 years of science in Utrecht

On March 26 in 1636, Utrecht University was founded and this year we celebrate 385 years of science in Utrecht. As part of this celebration, the project “A word about tomorrow” connects scientists with the general public. PhD students Rianne, Astrid, and Marloes participated in this project and visited libraries …

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Research paper on Pharmacology teaching

Teaching Pharmacology to (bio)medical students is a prominent role of the department of Translational Neuroscience. Through the years the method of teaching basic science subjects like Pharmacology has changed. As a result, we no longer teach pharmacology as an independent subject with a separate final examination. Instead, it is integrated with other subjects.

personal involved
Mirjam is central to teaching at the Translational Neuroscience Department, organizes and gives courses at multiple levels at the University of Utrecht and UMC Utrecht at the Bachelor level
Person involved
Rahul is the coordinator of the pharmacology and pharmacology track within the medical curriculum of the University Medical Center Utrecht, playing an active role in improving teaching quality

This integrated medical curriculum has advantages, such as better integration of clinical and preclinical subjects. It also has its disadvantages, such as the absence of separate examination on Pharmacology. Due to curricular integration, students could still graduate despite having sub-optimal knowledge of the subject.

Our faculty members Rahul Pandit, PhD and Mirjam A. F. M. Gerrits, PhD continuously improve the teaching quality within the department and UMCU. In the current paper, they aimed to investigate and address the drawbacks of the methods of examination within the integrated medical curriculum. To achieve this, they looked into one specific aspect of Pharmacology (Pharmacokinetics) and shown that the student knowledge is on this topic is sub-optimal. In addition, they suggest a few solutions to address this issue. Please visit here to view the article published as open access in Medical Science Educator.

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UMCU Brain Center Research day

The annual UMCU Brain Center Research was as lively as ever! Last Friday, fundamental and clinical researchers from several departments of the Utrecht Brain Center gathered to discuss developments of the last year and exciting plans for the future. Science communication was the focus of this year. Presentations from Arun …

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