Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-DGCN34
Credits (ECTS)6
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Cognitive Neuroscience;
PreviousNext 5
dr. A. Arias Vasquez
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. J.H.L.M. van Bokhoven
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. J.H.L.M. van Bokhoven
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. J.H.L.M. van Bokhoven
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. J.H.L.M. van Bokhoven
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2021
SEM1  (06/09/2021 to 28/01/2022)
Starting block
Course mode
Please note: if you do not yet have a master's registration, you are not yet registered for the tests for this course.
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

The aim of this course is to provide a comprehensive overview of exciting developments in neurogenetics research and the molecular and cellular mechanisms that are disrupted in disorders that affect the nervous system.

After this course you will be able to:

  1. Describe the complete range of monogenetic defects that result in neurodevelopmental disorders.
  2. Chose the right research strategy to locate genetic factors and pathways that are involved in monogenetic and multifactorial neurodevelopmental disorders.
  3. Describe the epigenetic modifications that affect learning, memory, and behavior and discuss transgenerational epigenetic inheritance.
  4. Chose an animal to model neurodevelopmental disorders and specify the optimal test to deduce the effect of dysfunctioning of specific genes and pathways on human learning, memory, and behavior.
  5. Apply the principles of neurophysiology to study synaptic plasticity in rodent models for neurodevelopmental disorders.
  6. Write an argumentative, well-organized project proposal to study the genetic origins of a neurodevelopmental disorder including a description of its’ impact on society.
Neurological disorders will be discussed which represent a variety of inheritance patterns and types of molecular genetic investigations. Examples include, X-linked and autosomal forms of intellectual disability, psychiatric conditions with complex inheritance, genetics of speech, epigenetic defects in neurological disease. The course starts with a few introductory lectures to introduce some basic genetic principles and methodologies, and then takes the form of weekly "journal clubs" that address specific neurological disorders. Later sessions of the masterclass will focus on molecular and cellular neurobiological mechanisms that are affected by mutations and research strategies that are used to unravel these: generation and characterization of model organisms (rodents, Drosophila), cellular studies and neurophysiology. Topics include:    
  • Basic Molecular Genetics: Genes and chromosomes, inheritance patterns, linkage studies, genome projects (van Bokhoven, de Brouwer).
  • High Throughput genomics, chromosomal disorders, CNVs and the plastic genome (van Bokhoven)
  • Mendelian disorders and special forms of inheritance (van Bokhoven, de Brouwer)
  • Multifactorial disorders of the brain, Quantitative Neurogenetics (Arias Vasquez) 
  • Genetics of intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and schizophrenia (van Bokhoven, Arias Vasquez)
  • Genetics of speech (Fisher/Eising).
  • Imaging genetics (Bralten)
  • Epigenetic defects underlying neurological disorders (van Bokhoven).
  • The genetic toolbox to generate tailor-made rodent models. Behavioral phenotyping (van der Werf, van Bokhoven, Nadif Kasri).
  • Synaptic plasticity in rodent models for neurogenetic disorders (Nadif Kasri)
  • Generation and characterization ofDrosophilamodels for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders (Fenckova).
  • Development of novel therapeutic strategies (van Bokhoven)

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information


Recommended materials
Lecture notes and articles will be provided on Brightspace

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Guided tours and practical demostrations
Attendance MandatoryYes

Attendance MandatoryYes

Each week a different topic is chosen and introduced by the lecturer; students are given a paper or selection of papers to present and these form the basis of the discussion. Several guided tours and practical demonstrations will be offered to provide the students with a good feel of “Neurogenetics research at work”. Students will also work on a short “Research proposal” under supervision of one of the lecturers in order to gain practical experience with the preparation of grant applications.

Attendance MandatoryYes

Research proposal
Attendance MandatoryYes

Closed book exam
Test weight65
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock SEM1, Block SEM2

NOTE: enrollment for a course automatically registers you for its exam. For participating in the retake, register again.

Project proposal
Test weight25
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock SEM1, Block SEM2

Test weight10
Test typePresentation
OpportunitiesBlock SEM1, Block SEM2

NOTE: enrollment for a course automatically registers you for its exam. For participating in the retake, register again.