'The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits'
-Malcolm Forbes
'The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.'
-Albert Einstein
'Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.'
-Ambrose Bierce

Joint appointment of Prof. dr. Steven Kushner at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry in New York

Posted by Admin on January 2020
Prof. dr. Steven Kushner Columbia University Department of Psychiatry in New York We are pleased to announce the joint appointment of Prof. dr. Steven Kushner at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry in New York beginning March 1st, as an extension of his continued appointment at the department of Psychiatry at Erasmus MC.

This collaboration marks a further expansion of the GEZIN study bringing together psychiatric genetics, stem cell modeling and translational neurobiology, and offers unique opportunities for knowledge exchange and visits between faculty, staff and students of the department of Psychiatry of Erasmus MC and Columbia University.

ZonMW Create2Solve challenge grant for Femke de Vrij

Posted by Admin on January 2020
Demi Brizee-Young Talent Thesis Prize for Biology We are pleased to inform you that Femke de Vrij has been awarded 100k Euro for a first-phase grant of the ZonMW Create2Solve challenge for the study 'An animal-free human 3D cortical network platform for screening myelination and inflammation phenotypes'.

Project description:

Recent developments in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology offer the unique opportunity to implement lineage-specific human cellular models suitable for drug development applications. In this project, researchers will expand their established platform for 3D neural networks of human brain cells that resemble the human frontal cortex in early development. An industry partner contributes innovative synthetic extracellular matrix technology to support 3D structure formation. The resulting 3D MICrobrains model the essence of cortical structure formation in a miniature format that is literally about 1millionth the size of a normal human brain. The platform will contain all relevant cell types: functional neurons and glial cell types in layered radial structures, including astrocytes, myelinating white matter cells (oligodendrocytes) and cells that are crucial for immune responses in the brain (microglia). Moreover, this advanced animal-free 3D MICro-brain platform is amenable to high throughput analyses for screening purposes.

Demi Brizee awarded Thesis Prize for Biology

Posted by Admin on December 2019
Demi Brizee-Young Talent Thesis Prize for Biology Demi Brizee has been awarded the Young Talent Thesis Prize for Biology for her master thesis written for the Research Master in Neuroscience, titled 'Activity-dependence of parvalbumin interneuron myelination.' The prize was awarded by the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen) and was sponsored by Enza Zaden.

In her thesis, Demi described how myelination, the insulating protective layer surrounding brain cells, could be changed in the adult brain by activity of the brain cells themselves. Unexpectedly, these changes were accompanied by alterations in the shape of the cells. Demi’s thesis shows that the brain, even in adult age, remains plastic in various manners, which could potentially be important for the treatment of various brain disorders.

The thesis work was performed in the Department of Psychiatry at the Erasmus University Medical Center under supervision of Prof. dr. Steven Kushner. The thesis has been published in the leading Journal of Neuroscience.

'Optimizing psychosocial care for oncology patients'

Posted by Admin on Oktober 2019
Psychosocial care in oncology patients We are pleased to inform you that Leonieke Kranenburg has received a grant from the Stichting Roparun (245k Euro) for a PhD student to perform a study focusing on the need for supportive psychosocial care in oncology patients, both those in a curative and in a palliative trajectory. The study comprises an evaluation of the organization of this type of care in new centers that combine formal and informal care, namely the Patiënt Informatie Centrum Oncologie (PATIO) in Rotterdam and IntermeZZo Nazorgcentrum in Zwolle. One of the research questions within this project is how the referral function for psychosocial care can be improved. In addition, this project will focus on the group of cancer patients who experienced diagnosis or treatment as extremely stressful and consequently have developed (symptoms of) post-traumatic stress disorder. A cost-effectiveness study on EMDR-treatment for this group will be performed.


Due to the recent developments and until further notice, the Wetenschapslunch Psychiatry meetings are cancelled from next week onwards.

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