Team Leader
Jan van Weering

Secretory vesicle trafficking and recycling

My research group aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms involved in membrane trafficking and recycling in synapses at nanometer resolution. We study of the transport, docking and fusion of secretory vesicles and the sorting of critical synaptic proteins through endosomes. Endosome recycling is important for the maintenance of basic neurotransmission, but it is also highly dysregulated in neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. We aim to understand the causal relation between disease progression and the disruption of the endolysosomal pathway.

Team Leader
Wiep Scheper

Molecular Neurodegeneration

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, however, effective treatment or prevention of the disease is not available to date. The aim of our work is to identify early factors that drive the pathogenesis in sporadic AD. We employ different disease models and post-mortem brain material to investigate molecular pathways leading to AD pathology.

Team Leader
Niels Cornelisse

Synaptic Computation

Synapses are the basic units of computation in the brain. In my team we study the computational properties of synapses in health and disease. We use physiological- and genetic perturbation experiments and computational modelling in an iterative cycle to study synaptic principles.

Team Leader
Ruud Toonen

Vesicle Dynamics and Synaptic Plasticity

To process information the brain is constantly changing the strength of individual contacts (synapses) between nerve cells. Strict control of synaptic plasticity is important, as dysregulation of this process is often associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders. The main goal of the lab is to advance our understanding of the mechanisms that support synaptic plasticity and their dysfunction in disorders such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism to provide novel treatment options and therapeutic targets.

Team Leader
Truus Abbink

White Matter Diseases

Our research aim is to understand how translationally regulated processes impact health and disease in CNS white matter. We currently focus on preclinical studies and development of suitable in vitro models for the childhood white matter disorder vanishing white matter.

Team Leader
Rik van der Kant

Dementia Discovery Group

The research in our group focusses on understanding the early cell biological processes that drive Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias. We use human stem cell-derived neurons, astrocytes and microglia combined with CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing to understand how genetic factors drive the earliest stages of disease pathogenesis. We use this knowledge to develop novel drugs for these disorders, with a strong focus on lipid metabolism. - more info coming soon

Team Leader
Amélie Freal

Axon Initial Segment Biology

The axon initial segment is a key compartment in neurons, it is the site of action potential generation. The axon initial segment structure is actively reorganized to accommodate changes in network activity, making this structure an active checkpoint for signal integration. The aim of our research is to unveil the molecular mechanisms controlling axon initial segment plasticity. We want to understand how neurons can adapt to their environment and how this process is altered in neurological disorders.

Team Leader
Loek van der Kallen

Synapse Gene Mapping

Together with the SynGO consortium, we are helping to create an expert-curated knowledge database with information about genes expressed in the synapse, their involvement in biological processes and interaction partners. We aim to add information to the database from our own high-throughput molecular experiments. The low amount of false positives will enable us to perform meaningful and reliable pathway analyses that can aid research into synaptopathies such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. In addition, my team also focuses on innovative ways to maintain the quality of education with a growing student population.