Neuroscientific research

Cognitive neuroscience

  • Organising institute: ONWAR
  • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl)
  • Duration of the course: 1,1 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: 30
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students (and PhD-students in neuroscience, space permitting)
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members; for others €500,-

Aim: Cognitive neuroscience is a relatively new field which bridges the gap between the study of complex behaviors (psychology) and the study of low-level neural processes (neurosciences). Cognitive neuroscientists aim to understand the underlying neural responses that lead to perception and behavior. This course is intended as a theoretical and practical introduction to some of the most important themes and methodologies in cognitive neuroscience. Students will learn how modern neuroscientific techniques can be applied to study cognition. 
Contents: The course is organized into 6 theoretical sessions, and 2 practical sessions. Each of the theoretical sessions will cover one topic within cognitive neuroscience and will include lectures from experts in the field.

Current Issues in Clinical Neuroscience

  • Organising institute: ONWAR, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Utrecht
  • Registration: Krista Poel (bcrm-secretariaat@umcutrecht.nl)
  • Duration of the course: 1.5 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: n.a.
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members

Degenerative diseases of the nervous system: from clinic to bench

  • Organising institute: ONWAR
  • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl )
  • Duration of the course: 1,4 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: n.a. (i.e. there is a maximum number of participants in the neuropathology practical)
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students (and PhD-students in neuroscience, space permitting)
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members; for others €500,-

Aim: This is a 1-week course and will be organized every other year. The course aims to provide up-to-date in-depth information on different neurodegenerative diseases. This field is advancing rapidly; causal genes have been identified, animal models have been developed and novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies are applied. The course will cover clinical aspects, genetics, diagnostics, molecular mechanisms, cellular and animal models and therapeutics. 
Contents: Topics: Dementia (Alzheimer and vascular dementia), motor diseases (Parkinson, Huntington), white matter disease (MS, vanishing white matter), peripheral neuropathies.

Developmental neurobiology

  • Organising institute: ONWAR Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Utrecht
  • Registration through: BCRM secretariat (bcrm-secretariaat@umcutrecht.nl )
  • Duration of the course: 1,8 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: 20
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members

Aim: The aim of this course is to provide participants with a thorough understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of neural development and to discuss techniques and animal models that can be used to study the developing nervous system. 
Contents: The course is divided into several sessions covering different aspects of neural development, different technical approaches and various animal models. Several sessions are closed by a lecture on disease to illustrate how the topics discussed relate to neural injury or disease.

Experimental neurophysiology: theory and practice

  • Organising institute: ONWAR
  • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl )
  • Duration of the course: 1,4 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: 20
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members

Aim: In this course, participants will get an overview of the current state-of-the-art of electrophysiological methods and analyses. The course will deal with a wide range topics, ranging from single neurons (cable theory, action potentials) through neuronal microcircuits (synaptic transmission and plasticity), to in vivo neuronal networks and behavior (in vivo recording and optogenetics). The course will consist of lectures and connected practical work. 
Contents of the course: 
o Principles of neuronal excitability: Cable theory and Action Potentials
o Neuron modelling
o In vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings 
o Synaptic transmission and plasticity
o In vivo recordings (patch-clamp, juxtacellular recording, single-unit recording)
o Optogenetics

Functional neuroanatomy

  • Organising institute: ONWAR
  • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl )
  • Duration of the course: 1,4 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: 34
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students (and PhD-students in neuroscience, space permitting)
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members; for others €500,-

Aim: Aim is to provide a thorough neuroanatomical background for neuroscientist in general. 
Contents: Students will acquire insight: in the dimensions and topographical relationships in the human brain via human brain dissection; in the major functional systems for information processing, cognitive and motor functions; in aspects of development and aging; in normal histological preparations of human, rodent brain and in major neuropathological changes related to major diseases of the human brain.

Imaging life at the molecular level

  • Organising institute: ONWAR (i.c.w. OIC-ErasmusMC)
  • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl )
  • Duration of the course: 1,8 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: 8 (for this course we will select applicants on the basis of a short (200 words) motivation letter/e-mail)
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members

Contents: Advanced light microscopy course.
Topics: fluorescent proteins, FRAP, FRET, FLIM, TIRF, photo-uncaging, single molecule tracking, 2-photon, 2 nd and 3 rd harmonics generation, quantitative data analysis.

Introductory course for PhD students ONWAR

  • Organising institute: ONWAR
  • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl )
  • Duration of the course: 0,9 ECTs (4yrs PhD); 0,9 ECTs (3yrs PhD)
  • Maximum number of participants: n.a.
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members

The aim of this course is to familiarize new Ph.D. students with the neuroscience centers and institutes that participate in ONWAR. This will help Ph.D. students to find local collaborators for their project and stimulate collaborations between research groups. Contents: The participants will visit the different centers/institutes that participate in ONWAR. The scientists who perform neuroscience research in Amsterdam will discuss their work and demonstrate the techniques and facilities they employ.

In vivo phenotyping of mutant rodents; integrating neural activity, neurochemistry, heart rate and behavior

  • Organising institute: ONWAR
  • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl )
  • Duration of the course: 1,8 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: 20
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students (and PhD-students in neuroscience, space permitting)
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members; for others €500,-

Aim: Aim of the course for Ph.D. students and post-docs is to advance phenotyping of mutant rodents models with a focus on models of psychopathology using an integrative view by combining behavior assays with electrophysiological, autonomic and neurochemical measures under physiological conditions. 
Contents:
The course will deal with various behavior tests in the emotional and cognitive domains that may serve to investigate aspects of human affective disorders. The behavioral readouts will partly be complemented by autonomic, electrophysiological, and neurochemical measures for an integrative approach. For that purpose, besides the local organizers working with these methods, international speakers will talk about advanced methods and data analysis for an improved understanding and critically address the prospects and limitations of these methods. Hands-on experience will be provided for various surgical techniques required in this field of research from brain cannula placement to ECG radio-transmitter implantation.

Masterclasses ONWAR

  • Organising institute: ONWAR
  • Organized in connection with a Swammerdam Lecture
  • Duration of the course: 0,1 ECTs
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students (and PhD-students in neuroscience, space permitting)

Molecular neurobiology

  • Organising institute: ONWAR
  • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl )
  • Duration of the course: 2 ECTs
  • Maximum number of participants: 40
  • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students (and PhD-students in neuroscience, space permitting)
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members; for others €500,-

Aim: The course aims at providing knowledge of concepts of Molecular Neurobiology in the context of investigating and understanding gene function in the nervous system. 
Contents
o general introduction to molecular biological principles 
o various quantification methods (e.g. quantitative PCR, Western blotting) 
o screening techniques (hybridization, micro arrays, SAGE, deep sequencing) 
o structure-function research (mutagenesis, 3D structure analysis) 
o genetic intervention studies (viral vectors, transgenesis, RNAi, peptide-mimetics) 
o protein-protein interaction (immunoprecipitation, yeast two hybrid) 
o proteomics technology (protein identification and quantification, determining phosphorylation with MS) 
o cellomics technology (cellular high-content screening) 
o genome projects and the use of electronic databases (Entrez-based) 
o various examples from current research involving the above topics

    Neuropsychopharmacology

    • Organising institute: ONWAR (i.c.w. BCRM and CHD)
    • Registration through: Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl )
    • Duration of the course: 1,7 ECTs
    • Maximum number of participants: tba
    • Accessible for: ONWAR-PhD-students (and PhD-students in neuroscience, space permitting)
    • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR members; for others €500,-

    Aim: This graduate course is organized by the Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam (ONWAR), the Rudolf Magnus Graduate School of Neurosciences (RMI) and the Centre for Human Drug Research (Leiden), and designed for PhD students and postdocs in the field of neurosciences. The course addresses our current understanding of drug targets in the brain, the pharmacology of CNS active drugs as well as drug discovery strategies, allowing students to become familiar with the fascinating field of neuropsychopharmacology. 
    Contents: Major classes of pharmacotherapeuticals for the clinical management of neurological and psychiatric diseases and the pathological mechanisms of these brain disorders will be discussed by leading experts in (pre)clinical research. The lectures are primarily scheduled in the mornings. The afternoon sessions include demonstrations, site visits and discussions and will be completed by a keynote lecture. Each day addresses a particular type of neurological or psychiatric disorder from basics to bedside (Epilepsy, Neurodegenerative disorders, Psychotic disorders, Affective disorders, Cognitive disorders, Question-based development of CNS-active drugs, and Impulsive and compulsive disorders).

    Swammerdam lectures

    • Organising institute: ONWAR
    • Registration through: n.a.
    • Duration of the course: 0,7 ECTs (4yrs PhD); 0,5 ECTs (3yrs PhD)
    • Maximum number of participants: n.a

    To inform students of highlights in the neurosciences the graduate school organizes an annual series of "Swammerdam Lectures" which have been incorporated as an integral component of the training program. These lectures are generally given approximately six times a year by renowned neuroscientists.