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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Marieke G. Verhagen defended her PhD thesis 🚀👏

On 14th of October, Marieke G. Verhagen defended her PhD thesis titled ‘The multifunctional role of Semaphorin6A during brain development and disease. Moving forward with reverse signaling’, UMC Utrecht Brain Center Universiteit Utrecht. “I am happy and grateful for this experience! In the past 5 years I studied early brain development and …

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