• 1 "If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn′t."

    -Emerson M. Pugh
  • 2 "I believe in an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out."

    -Arthur Hays Sulzberger
  • 3 "I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this."

    -Emo Phillips
  • 3 "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

    -Vincent Van Gogh
  • 4 "The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

    -Malcolm Forbes
  • 5 "The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around."

    -Thomas A. Edison

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The Department of Psychiatry of the Erasmus MC is dedicated to excellence in clinical care, research and education.

Ideaal om nieuwe behandelingen te testen, maar ook ethisch beladen: wetenschappers kweken stukje mensenbrein in muizenhoofd

Steven Kushner

Voor hersenwetenschappers vormen de muis-mensbreintjes een langverwachte doorbraak

Het is een experiment om je toch even bij achter de oren te krabben. Amerikaanse onderzoekers zijn erin geslaagd een stukje mensenbrein te kweken in het hoofd van een muis, gekoppeld aan het brein van het knaagdier. Ideaal om hersenziektes te bestuderen en nieuwe behandelingen te testen - maar ook ethisch beladen, want wat zou zo'n stukje mensenbrein opgesloten in een muizenhoofd er zelf eigenlijk van vinden?

Veel hogere gedachten verwachten experts vooralsnog niet van de stukjes mensenbrein, per stuk niet groter dan een haar dik. 'Alles wijst erop dat dit weefsel nog maar heel losjes is verbonden met het muizenweefsel. Maar we moeten het wel in de gaten houden', reageert hoogleraar neurobiologische psychiatrie Steven Kushner (Erasmus MC), zelf niet betrokken bij de Amerikaanse proef. Kushner pleit voor vervolgonderzoek: 'Licht het menselijke weefsel bijvoorbeeld op als de muis iets ervaart? Dan wordt het toch een wat ander verhaal.'

More Meer (de Volkskrant)

Desiderius Consolidator Research Fellowship for Steven Kushner

Steven Kushner

It is with great pleasure to announce that Steven Kushner has been awarded the Desiderius Consolidator Research Fellowship by our dean (Hans van Leeuwen) on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Erasmus MC. The grant of 400.000 Euro is for the project ′The pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders resulting from increased UBE3A gene dosage′.

In the letter to Steven, the dean used the following formulation:
′The committee was highly impressed by your vision on advancing the understanding and treatment of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Your continued successes in obtaining extramural funding will undoubtedly lead to a string of top publications. Your recent publication in Molecular Psychiatry on candidate CSPG4 mutations in familial schizophrenia is an illustration of your pioneering work. The committee noted that you have many fruitful collaborations within Erasmus MC, and your work is well connected with several ACEs within Erasmus MC. This makes you a suitable candidate for the Desiderius grant. In line with the mission of Desiderius, I hope this award will give you the opportunity to expand your research ideas further and build a strong scientific future at Erasmus MC.′

We are very proud for this recognition of the work of Steven and his research group, and congratulate him with this achievement!

The KNAW has awarded Christian Bouwkamp (member of Steven Kushner′s Lab)

Christian Bouwkamp

- a Sara van Dam grant of 100k Euro to perform the research project entitled ′Cognitive neurodevelopment in children from the Israeli Bedouin community′.

Congratulations with this achievement, Christian!


Summary of project:
Higher levels of consanguinity (relatedness by blood) are associated with increased risks of mortality and morbidity in infants and children, in particular with regard to cognitive neurodevelopment. No prior studies however have examined childhood social and cognitive outcomes in the Negev Bedouin community. Therefore, through an established collaboration with dr. Zaid Afawi (Ben Gurion University, Israel), we intend to address the following question: To what extent are cognitive and social functioning outcomes in children from the Negev Bedouin community associated with familial consanguinity and genomic burden of homozygosity? If confirmed, we intend as a longer-term goal to establish whether a dedicated program for family-based genetic counseling would offer the opportunity to improve the developmental and global health outcomes in children within the Negev Bedouin community.

Factors influencing access to transplantation (FIAT-Study): a qualitative research on stakeholders′ perspective

Kidney acces

Please find herewith the details of a project that has been granted last week. The client is the Dutch Kidney Foundation (′Nierstichting′) and the amount is 260.000 euro (for 4 years).

Congratulations Sohal Ismail et al! Well done.

The number of transplantations with a living donor kidney is rising in the Netherlands. Nearly half of these transplantations with a living donor are performed pre-emptively. Hence, 75% of the patients who receive a kidney transplant first undergo a period of dialysis, disposing patients to harmful aspects of the dialysis period. Addressing disparities in equal access has recently been expressed as a research priority in organ transplantation in literature. The present proposal aims to investigate the multidisciplinary factors that influence ′on time′ and ′equal access′ to transplantation. We will use focus groups and ′grounded theory′ for an in-depth investigation of the psychological, clinical, ethical, social, economic and policy factors which influence access to transplantation from different stakeholders′ perspective: the patient-, health care professional-, insurance- and health policy perspective.