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Understanding Brain Function in Health and Disease

Over the last three decades, neuroscience has become a truly integrative science, from the molecule to the systems level and beyond, encompassing normal human brain function as well as the biological mechanisms underlying brain diseases.

The aim of the minor Neuroscience is to offer students in-depth knowledge of the principles of modern Neuroscience research. Students will gain insight into modern experimental neuronal cell biology and focus on mechanisms of brain function in health and disease in 5 complementary courses:

Overview courses

  • Computational Neuroscience

    The neuroscience field is generating a massive amount of data to understand brain functioning in health an disease. We will discuss the various computational methods used to analyse and represent this data. We will cover topics like spatio-temporal gene expression analysis, how to integrate multi-omics data, single cell expression analysis, GWAS analysis, and will focus on models that help to explain how synapses transmit information.

  • Cell Biology of Neuron and Glia

    We will cover the latest developments in neuronal and glia cell biology addressing the importance of organelle transport, axon specification and synapse formation, secretory pathways including protein modifications in the Golgi apparatus and cargo packaging in secretory vesicles, protein homeostasis and RNA biology in neurons as well as neuron-glia interactions. In addition we will discuss new technologies to study neuronal and glia cell biology including CRISPR-screens, live cell imaging and the various -omics approaches.

  • Molecular Principles of Brain Disorders

    Which factors contribute to brain disease? Students will gain insight in the etiology of neurological and psychiatric brain disorders. We will address the role of genes, environment, epigenetics and gene-networks in relation to brain disorders.

  • The Adaptive Brain

    How does the brain adapt to changing environment? Students will gain insight into molecular and cellular neurobiology, with a focus on adaptive mechanisms in the brain. Practice molecular and cellular biological laboratory skills.

  • Neuronal Networks and Behavior

    How do networks of brain cells control behaviour? In Neuronal Networks & Behaviour we will discuss different aspects of brain function ranging from sensory information processing, control of movement, learning and memory to cognition and emotions. We will study how neuronal networks in different brain areas give rise to these functions.