VU Research Fellowship for Matthijs Verhage and Claudia Persoon

02 September 2013

Matthijs Verhage was honoured as a top researcher and awarded with a VU University Research Fellowship during the opening of the new Academic Year on 2 September 2013. He appointed Claudia Persoon as his Fellow student.

VU University Research Fellowship
The VU University Research Fellow (URF) programme is developed to recognize and honour a select number of internationally renowned scientists at VU University Amsterdam. With this programme, the university enables top researchers to annually appoint a student of their choice with a University Research Fellow, thereby providing a stronger link between researching and teaching activities. Verhage received the ERC Ideas Advanced Grant of the European Research Council in 2012. This entitles him to appoint a VU Fellow each year for the duration of this grant. Claudia Persoon graduated from the master of Neuroscience at the VU and just started as a PhD student of Matthijs Verhage.

The ERC Advanced Grant enables Matthijs Verhage to study the secretion of neuropeptides and other signalling molecules from nerve cells in the brain. Nerve cells release classical neurotransmitters for ultra-fast signalling between neurons in synapses. They also release many neuropeptides that can signal to different target cells in- and outside of the brain. Neuropeptides are produced in nerve cells. They are stored and transported in specialized vesicles, called dense core vesicles. How, where and when these dense core vesicles release their content is the main topic of the ERC Advanced project.

URF Project
Claudia will study transport and release mechanisms of dense core vesicles, containing neuropeptides, for her PhD research. As part of the URF project, she will develop an educational and interactive movie that shows and explains the research on dense core vesicles, performed in the lab of Matthijs Verhage. She will continue with the interactive video wall project “Rush hour in the brain‚. The video was first demonstrated at the Annual meeting of the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam in 2012. It is shown in a walk-in video set-up of different screens. The movie will exist of a combination of real data derived from the lab of Matthijs Verhage, supplemented by animations. It will show the beauty of the brain at a molecular level.

For more information on the ERC Ideas Advanced grant project, please visit here
More information on the University Research Fellowship programme can be found here