Cracking the Synaptic Memory Code Anne-Sophie Hafner, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and BehaviourSynapses play an important role in long-term information storage in the brain. They are highly dynamic: in the adult mouse brain, it takes a few days for dendritic spines to be replaced. Similarly at the molecular level, most synaptic proteins have half-lives in the order of a week, meaning they constantly need to be replaced by freshly produced ones. Understanding how long-term memory can arise from unstable elements is one of today’s great neuroscience challenges.Anne-Sophie Hafner discovered that most synapses produce their own proteins locally. She will combine multiple research methods to unravel how local production of new proteins contributes to information storage at synapses. Such a fundamental understanding of brain function is needed to provide new avenues of defense against neurodegenerative diseases.
9 January 2023
RNA Sequencing of the neuromuscular junction to evaluate the role of skeletal muscle gene expression in FUS-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most frequent adult-onset motor neurodegenerative disease, resulting in paralysis and death due to respiratory failure. ALS is an incurable disease, with only two FDA-approved drugs which only marginally extend survival without affecting disease progression. In order to develop future therapeutic approaches that could block the onset or the progression of ALS we must identify the molecular derailments leading to the pathology. In the project, we will investigate the role of skeletal muscle in the pathogenesis of ALS and by using cutting-edge subcellular RNA sequencing approaches, identify potential therapeutic targets in this tissue. The project will resolve an ongoing debate in the field: does skeletal muscle contribute to ALS pathogenesis? Main applicant: Anne WienandResearch institutes involved: DCN, RIMLS
4 July 2022
Paper Witteveen, Visser & Kolk in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
22 June 2022
13 October 2021
Our brains can track moving sounds. That seems like common sense, but it has now been scientifically demonstrated for the first time by neuroscientists José A. García-Uceda Calvo, Marc M van Wanrooij and A. John Van Opstal. The study therefore provides a scientific basis for further research into how we can improve hearing in noisy environments for the hearing-impaired. The researchers will publish their findings in the journal eNeuro on 19 April.
23 April 2021
Valedictory Lecture by Prof.dr. Gerard Martens
10 December 2020
New PhD students: Sara Sebastiani and Jet van der Spek
8 October 2020
The antiretroviral drug Efavirenz (EFV) is used for treatment of HIV infection, and successfully inhibits viral replication and mother-to-child transmission of HIV during pregnancy and childbirth. Unfortunately, the drug induces neuropsychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and depressed mood and potentially affects cognitive performance.
11 August 2020
Sharon Kolk awarded Education Innovation 2019 GrantWith this grant Sharon Kolk will further develop and implement the use of augmented reality (AR) in the field of Embryology and Brain development that can be used in the various courses that she teaches. To create a more interactive educational package, the AR application will further help students to get a better grip on the dimensionality of developing anatomical structures.
20 December 2019