In september werd voor het eerst Crowdfest georganiseerd: het live crowdfunding festival waar bezoekers konden investeren in allerlei projecten, waaronder ons hersenonderzoek! Onze afdeling Anatomie en Neurowetenschappen stond in de ‘NeuroNerd Area’ met hersenmodellen, kalfsbreinen en een heleboel enthousiaste collega’s, om zoveel mogelijk vragen van bezoekers te beantwoorden. Daarnaast heeft Jeroen Geurts tweemaal een live anatomiepracticum gegeven. We kunnen wel zeggen dat we een van de meest populaire onderdelen van het festival waren!
Wij proberen hersenziektes beter te behandelen door ze eerst beter te begrijpen. Dit doen we veelal in de universiteit, in het ziekenhuis of het lab, maar wij willen voor het eerst samen met jullie het brein onderzoeken op een nieuwe manier! Bekijk ons filmpje om meer te weten te komen over deze spannende, Facebook-geinspireerde manier om de hersenen te bekijken!
Networks form an important fiber in current day society: we all participate in a large number of social contexts, (try to) traverse road and railway grids efficiently, and receive much of our daily newsfeed through the World Wide Web.
Text by Eliane Kaaij & photography by Dirk de Jong
For some people, making a contribution to society does not stop at the moment of death. Many choose to donate their organs, and some opt to donate their body to science. The VU University Medical Center is a place where, through writing a testament, an individual can donate his or her body to the hospital and university for teaching and research purposes. The dissection room of the department of Anatomy and Neurosciences is the place where medical students first come in contact with the human body to receive education in anatomy. In a safe and controlled educational environment, they make their very first acquaintance with these bodies. Surgeons practice new techniques and scientists gratefully use human tissue to do their research. This can only be done because of the people who have decided to donate their remains to the VU University Medical Center at the end of their life. When a person signs up for body donation, this can be difficult for the family. When a donor dies, there is a period of 24 hours within which the body has to be brought into the facility. Family members can organize a memorial on their own, but their loved-one is no longer present. We realize that this may leave a need in family members to deal with the passing of their beloved.
In 2015, two of our faculty members, Michael van Emden and Tommy Pattij, have worked hard to successfully obtain a Senior Teaching Qualification. Besides teaching students, faculty members holding this qualification also oversee the teaching of academic programmes.
“Decisions, decisions, a kingdom for a fair, properly balanced and consistent decision in medical experimentation with humans”, paraphrasing a famous statement this sums up the primary task of the Medical Research Ethics Committees (MREC; in Dutch: METc) operating in the western world, including the Netherlands. Sounds clear enough, doesn’t it, but is that really so or is the job set for MREC’s not as unequivocal as it appears and therefore open for multiple interpretations and ways of reaching decisions?
Come visit CROWDF€ST @ B. Amsterdam this weekend! Our Jeroen Geurts will practice brain anatomy live on stage, and a team of neuroscientists will man a neuro nerd area with microscope and brain slices at the festival!
In the August edition of the digital magazine “VUmc in Praktijk”, Linda Douw talked about her research. She uses mathematical network theory and knowledge about other types of complex networks, such as Twitter, to grasp the cognitive problems that patients with brain tumors experience.
Since 2000 we have a strong brain imaging research line on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in Amsterdam. Initiated by the department of Psychiatry, but always in strong collaboration with the department of Anatomy and Neurosciences, the brain imaging expertise on OCD at VUmc is an excellent basis for a leading position in the international OCD field.