News

Polderman & Posthuma publish largest twin study ever

The study analyzed the results from 2,748 studies, containing nearly 18,000 human traits, and is based on information from more than 14.5 million twin pairs. The study is published on May 18, in the leading journal Nature Genetics.

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Study identifies biological mechanisms for psychiatric disorders

Psychiatric disorders – such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression – share genetic risk factors related to histone methylation (involved in DNA regulation) and immune function. This finding is a result of a large international study, including researchers from the VU/VUmc, in which they analyzed genetic data from over 60,000 individuals.

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CNCR PhD students win NWO Brain & Cognition award

NWO Brain & Cognition awarded Anke Hammerschlag and Sabine Mous from the Complex Trait Genetics group for best integrated project on “An Integrative Theory of the Genetically Mediated Neural Substrates of ADHD‚. Watch their creative, musical presentation on youtube.

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CNCR scientists receive millions for top-research

Danielle Posthuma (FALW & VUmc) and Huib Mansvelder (FALW) both receive a prestigious Vici grant (NWO). They are two out of eight VU and VUmc top-scientists to receive 1,5 million euro each for conducting research for the following five years.

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Research on the role of CYFIP1 gene leads to Neuron paper

Joint effort of CNCR researchers Ka Wan Li, Danielle Posthuma, Guus Smit and researchers from Leuven University (Belgium) shed new light on the role of the CYFIP1 gene. This gene has been linked to various neurological disorders, including intellectual disability, autism and schizophrenia.

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CNCR scientists participate in Human Brain Project

Early October, the Human Brain Project – an EU Flagship initiative in which over 80 partners will work together - was launched. The initiative will realize a new "ICT-accelerated" vision for brain research and its applications. The VU-CNCR is one of the partners. Sabine Spijker, Guus Smit and Huib Mansvelder participate in this research.

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Brain-Train Conference in Japan

CNCR collaborators, who took part in the Brain-Train project, attended the Neuroscience Brain Train Conference at the Riken Center for Life Science Technologies in Japan.

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Study trip to Cambridge 2013

VU Neuroscience master students attended attended ‘Ion Channels in Health and Disease: a symposium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley’.

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Christiaan Levelt benoemd tot hoogleraar bij CNCR

Christiaan Levelt is per 1 augustus 2013 benoemd als hoogleraar in de ‘Moleculaire en cellulaire mechanismen van corticale ontwikkeling en plasticiteit’. Hij is benoemd vanwege de Stichting het Vrije Universiteitsfonds. De leerstoel is ingebed bij de afdeling Moleculaire en Cellulaire Neurobiologie.

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Andrea Goudriaan et al publish in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Andrea Goudriaan and colleagues show that sets of genes involved in specific glial function are associated with the risk to develop schizophrenia. They used genomewide association (GWA) data from 13,689 schizophrenic patients and 18,226 controls from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and the Swedish Schizophrenia sample.

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Novel genetic risk variants for schizophrenia detected

An international group of scientists including researchers of the CNCR have detected 22 independent genetic risk variants for schizophrenia. Thirteen of these have never been reported before. In addition, these novel results point to an enrichment of significant findings in genes that influence L-type calcium channels.

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NWO Rubicon for Rogier Poorthuis

Rogier Poorthuis, PhD student at the department of Integrative Neurophysiology, receives a Rubicon grant from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). He will join the group of Johannes Letzkus at the MPI for Brain Research in Frankfurt.

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Research Talent – CRIMI has started

'Critical Minds' (CRIMI) will use criticality theory and mental training to understand the dynamics of mind wandering in healthy subjects and patients with major depressive disorder. The PhD project is funded by a "Research Talent" grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (MaGW, NWO) to Klaus Linkenkaer-Hansen (PI) and earmarked for Mona Irrmischer.

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Toonen and Schmitz publish in The Journal of Cell Biology

Ruud Toonen and Sabine Schmitz (FGA) publish in the june 2013 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology. The results on the organization of presynaptic terminals originate from a fruitful collaboration with the group of Prof. Casper Hoogenraad (Utrecht University).

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CNCR Researchers publish in Science

A worldwide consortium of medical researchers and social scientists found that tiny differences across a person’s genetic sequences are associated with the educational level.

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Jorim Tielbeek and colleagues receive NWO Research Talent grant

Jorim Tielbeek, Arne Popma (PI), Theo Doreleijers, Henning Tiemeier, Tinca Polderman and Danielle Posthuma received the prestigious NWO Research Talent grant. Their research proposal is entitled 'From gene to mean. A neuroimaging genetics study on functional gene sets involved in endophenotypes of antisocial behaviour'.

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M. van der Knaap and colleagues publish in The Lancet Neurology

An international consortium led by Prof. Marjo van der Knaap and Prof. Frédéric Sedel (Paris) published this high impact research report on May 22 2013. The study reveals the link between autosomal-recessive CLCN2 mutations and an emerging group of leukoencephalopathies affecting brain ion and water homoeostasis, being characterised by intramyelinic oedema.

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Sabine Spijker lands 3.3 M€ grant for Marie Curie consortium

Prof. Sabine Spijker successfully applied for an Innovative Doctorate Programme, funded by the EU Marie Curie agency. The consortium she will coordinate runs under the title "CognitionNet". A total of 14 doctorate students will be guided towards their graduation in the coming years.

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CNCR scientists contribute to Human Brain Project

Guus Smit, Huibert Mansvelder and Sabine Spijker will contribute to the Human Brain Project, one of it's two EU FET Flagship projects. The project will receive 1 billon euros, the biggest research cash award ever granted within the EU.

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Rogier Poorthuis en Bernard Bloem provide Cerebral Cortex Cover

Function of nicotinic receptors uncovered: Rogier Poorthuis and Bernard Bloem, PhD students at the department of Integrative Neurophysiology, published on the mechanisms by which nicotinic acetylcholine receptors regulate synaptic circuits and neuronal excitability in the prefrontal cortex. They show that these processes markedly differ across cortical layers. A 3D illustration of the layered prefrontal cortical network is now selected to be on the cover of Cerebral Cortex

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Rhea van Bospoort scores paper in The Journal of Cell Biology

Despite the importance of dense core vesicle release in brain signalling, not much is known about the release mechanisms. To investigate how DCVs are released, van de Bospoort et al. designed a fluorescent probe to monitor the release of individual DCVs from hippocampal neurons in vitro.

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Matthijs Verhage wins ERC Advanced Grant

Matthijs Verhage, head of the Functional Genomics Department of CNCR, receives an ERC Ideas Advanced Grant. He will study the secretion of neuropeptides and other signaling molecules from neurons in the brain. The project will run for 5 years.

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CNCR researchers win two out of three ENP 2012 poster prices

The awards, known as the Gerard de Boer price, where handed out to Master student Martijn Sierksma and PhD-student Arthur de Jong. Their posters where selected from a field of 65 competitors. Winners receive a one-year subscription to Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

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NIN-CNCR collaboration publishes in Nature Neuroscience

The exact metabolic cost for a single action potential and in particular in the context of ongoing electrical activity were unclear, but new research has now shown that the costs are high and in addition highly specific for different neuronal compartments.

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Rhiannon Meredith supplies cover for Cerebral Cortex journal

The cover image shows the connectivity between layer 5 pyramidal neurons in slice preparation of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of a developing mouse brain. Each cluster was filled with biocytin revealing cell soma location and dendritic branching patterns.

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NWO grant for ‘integrative brain theory’

The proposal “Multi-level criticality as a principle of information processing: Towards an integrative theory of neuronal avalanches and oscillations‚ by Klaus Linkenkaer-Hansen was awarded with a grant of 213.532 € from the Physical Sciences, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (Vrije Competitie, Exacte Wetenschappen, NWO).

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