Brain Center Rudolf Magnus is the research body of ‘UMC Utrecht Hersencentrum’. Our mission is to perform high-level research in clinical and experimental neuroscience, whilst delivering an exceptional standard of care.
Prof. dr René Kahn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Head of the Division of Neuroscience at the University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands. His current research interests include neuroimaging in schizophrenia and the genetic dissection of complex traits in specific psychiatric disorders.
Our researchers in the area of Stroke work to identify genetic and environmental risk factors that determine vulnerability in patients. We also search for novel treatments to aid in recovery post-stroke. Practitioners, starting at the bedside, directly carry much of our research out.
The Epilepsy research team uses multiple approaches to uncover the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of refractory epilepsy. Through this approach, we work toward finding novel treatment options for refractory Epilepsy in children and adults.
Within the research team Neuromuscular Disorders, we face deeply complex and challenging questions. Hand in hand with our patients, we unravel the disease mechanisms of these disorders, our aim is to deliver effective treatments, quickly. Our approach is characterized by intense interactions between clinical and preclinical investigators.
Our research team focuses on unraveling the mechanisms that underlie psychotic disorders. We strive toward developing new clinical assessments and treatments, and draw on all approaches to further our understanding of the intersection between biological and psychosocial factors.
The team of researchers in the area of Developmental Disorders are building on UMC Utrecht’s long history in research of developmental disorders such as ADHD and autism. We utilize advanced clinical diagnostic tools that combined with genetic approaches, neuroimaging and cognitive psychology help to uncover the developmental, neurobiological pathways underlying complex developmental disorders.
In a joint venture with Philips Medical Systems -and supported by Utrecht University, the UMC Utrecht and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research-, a 7T brain scanner was implemented at the UMC Utrecht in 2007. Since then Peter Luijten and his team of MR physicists, radiologists and neuroscientists has continuously improved hardware and software of the scanner. Today, this scanner is among the best-functioning 7T scanners worldwide and already used for clinical purposes.
Nick Ramsey runs a lab where the latest developments in imaging brain activity, machine learning techniques and microsystems technology merge. His team of engineers, fMRI-experts and cognitive neuroscientists work on two major projects, at least until 2018. The first: putting years of technical innovation to the test, trying to enable five paralyzed patients to operate a computer with their thoughts, in the Utrecht Neural Prosthesis (UNP) project.
The second project is called iCONNECT, for which Ramsey received a personal ERC Advanced grant of 2.5 million Euro. In iCONNECT, Ramsey’s group explores brain patterns and develops decoding strategies, using 7 Tesla MRI and electrocorticography. The aim is a brain computer interface-system that interprets activity patterns on the surface of the brain, in real-time.
UMC Utrecht Brain Center Rudolf Magnus
3584 CG Utrecht
Jeroen Pasterkamp from the Department of Translation Neuroscience (BCRM) has received a NWO VICI grant entitled: “Guiding the guides during nervous system wiring”. The VICI research focuses on molecular mechanisms that wire the developing nervous system and that are disturbed in brain disease.
One of the most challenging problems in biology is to understand how the billions of neurons in our nervous system “wire up” to form functional neural circuits that underlie all behavior. Important proteins have been identified that help to establish neural circuits by guiding axons to their targets, so-called axon guidance proteins. Deregulation of these proteins causes pathological changes in neuronal connectivity and brain disease. Remarkably, our nervous system contains trillions of connections but no more than a hundred axon guidance proteins. How can this relatively small number of proteins set up the wiring of a disproportionally large number of connections with many different characteristics such as trajectories or synaptic partners? The overall objective of the VICI proposal is to resolve key molecular events that enable a limited number of axon guidance proteins to dictate a vast number of wiring decisions in vivo. This knowledge is of utmost importance in the design of strategies to ultimately treat brain injury and disease.