Amsterdam Neuroscience is the research institute for neuroscience of Amsterdam UMC and the science faculties of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam. Researchers and clinicians from these three institutions join forces in the field of fundamental, translational and clinical brain research. This collaboration strengthens the scientific excellence in this area, making Amsterdam Neuroscience one of the largest neuroscience communities in Europe.
Ysbrand van der Werf explaining brain structures to PhD students

Neuroscience Research

Neuroscience research in the Amsterdam region is a high profile knowledge industry aimed at understanding the functioning of the human brain, the peripheral nervous system and their disorders. We perform integrated basic, translational and clinical research in order to improve our understanding of the human brain and nervous system in health and disease.

Understanding healthy brain function aids the development of a wide variety of innovations needed to eventually apply these to study neurological, neuroimmunological and neuropsychiatric disorders. This will allow early diagnosis and prevention of such disorders and gives guidance to clinical trials and related research programs in collaboration with the industry.


The core of the Amsterdam Neuroscience organisation is the collaboration between relevant departments of the Amsterdam UMC and both universities in Amsterdam. The organization is setup in such a way that there is focus on a limited number of experimental approaches, brain functions and disease mechanisms in order to exceed. The projects within nine socalled research programs should strengthen the link between different disciplines and urge for collaboration between different partners, i.e. irrespective of their location.

Our more than 850 employees produce ~ 1300 publications per year. Regarding citation scores, Amsterdam Neuroscience is performing amongst the best in the Netherlands and beyond.

Connecting the people, the science and the brain

Mission and Vision

Amsterdam Neuroscience’s overall mission is to broaden the fundamental knowledge of the human brain and nervous system, and to translate this into effective therapies and treatments for the individual patient.

With a focus on both fundamental and translational neuroscience, we work on the primary function of the brain and the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. In addition, however, we also identify relevant biomarkers, drug targets and new molecular structures for the purpose of interventions for brain disorders. Through clinical trials on patients, we validate new diagnostic tests, therapies and interventions. The clinical research often focuses on the prevention of brain and nerve disorders, or the recovery thereof. We do this both by investor generated research and through collaborations with external parties such as biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies. Cooperation with industrial partners can, in turn, help accelerate clinical development and validation of new methods and interventions. And all of this while putting the interests of the patient first.

Through scientific excellence and high clinical standards, we provide the best breeding ground for the next generation of neuroscientists, neurologists and psychiatrists. Team science and communication are important core values ​​that make Amsterdam Neuroscience the connecting research institute, where principal researchers contribute to a good infrastructure with partnerships, suitable financing and valorization opportunities.



Arjen Brussaard - Director

Arjen Brussaard

Guus Smit

Guus Smit

Yolande Pijnenburg

Yolande Pijnenburg

Profile picture of Marten Smidt

Marten Smidt

Management Team

Susanne la Fleur

Susanne la Fleur
Amsterdam UMC, location AMC

Paul Lucassen

Paul Lucassen
University of Amsterdam

Brenda Penninx

Brenda Penninx
Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc

Diederik van de Beek

Diederik van de Beek Amsterdam UMC, location AMC

Taco de Vries

Taco de Vries
Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc

Guido van Wingen

Guido van Wingen Amsterdam UMC, location AMC

Board of Deans

Function Location Name
Dean Amsterdam UMC (Chair) Location VUmc Chris Polman
Dean Amsterdam UMC Location AMC Hans van Goudoever
Dean Faculty of Science Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Guus Schreiber
Dean Faculty of Science University of Amsterdam Peter van Tienderen

Executive Office

The executive office of Amsterdam Neuroscience provides leadership and administrative direction to the research institute and consists of the director Arjen Brussaard, co-director Guus Smit and their support staff. The directors oversee the science, the strategy, the policy towards infrastructures and collaborations within the institute. The directors of all research institutes assemble in the Amsterdam Research Board of Amsterdam UMC and report directly to the deans of Amsterdam UMC, the Vrije Universiteit and the University of Amsterdam.

The executive office organizes newsletters, scientific meetings, lectures and master-classes, and annual retreats for both senior and junior researchers. External communication is aimed at explaining the importance of the research for the public at large with the aim to both spread knowledge and acquire funds.

Support Staff

Portrait of Michella Dijkinga

Michella Dijkinga
Communication Officer

Picture of Rhanna Haantjes

Rhanna Haantjes
Staff Advisor Assistant

Blank profile picture

Lisette Kuijper
Staff Advisor

Lara Martin Sanchez

Lara Martin Sanchez
Staff Advisor

Anita Osinga - Management Assistant

Anita Osinga
Management Assistent & Event coordinator

Naomi Vorstermans - Science Communicator & Communication Advisor

Naomi Vorstermans
Science Communicator & Communication Advisor