In expanding our efforts to reach out and make science more accessible to the general public, the department of Functional Genomics of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research participated in the recent Museum Night event, with an exhibit at the NEMO museum. The exhibit was organized by Rhodé van Westen, a PhD student at the department, along with the help of Jurjen Broeke, Alessandro Moro and Claudia Persoon. The event provided the guests with a superb overview of brain architecture on the macroscopic level, by exhibiting intact and sectioned cow brains, all the way down to the microscopic level, through Golgi stained neurons in mouse and human brain slices. Additionally, through the aid of a fluorescence microscope, visitors got a glimpse of the architecture of neuronal cells that were labeled with fluorescent antibodies targeting neuronal organelles.

Overall it was a fantastic experience, that was warmly received by the public. For many it was their first opportunity to see up-close not only intact brains, but also the architecture of single cells that make up the brain.

Participation in the Museum Night of Amsterdam 2015 was made possible through a University Research Fellow grant that was awarded by the Executive Board of the VU University of Amsterdam.