On September 30 and October 1, 2021, the sixth Annual Meeting of the Amsterdam Neuroscience research institute took place. This year we organized a two-day hybrid event that started with the online poster market in Gather town on Thursday and continued with a plenary program on Friday with 200 attendees live at the Johan Cruijff ArenA and more than 300 participants that joined the Annual Meeting online.

With a variety of sessions, Amsterdam Neuroscience wanted to inform participants on the latest research developments in neuroscience all revolving around this year’s theme: resilience. If you missed out on the plenary program on Friday, October 1, or if you want to catch up on the sessions, please watch the videos below.

Word of Welcome and Story Slam presentations

A familiar face on stage, our host Kim Coppes was back this year to guide us through the day. Together with directors of Amsterdam Neuroscience Arjen Brussaard and Diederik van de Beek she opened this year’s Annual Meeting. They highlight the overarching theme of 2021 and launch the new online MAGAZINE 2021. Followed by three story slam presentations led by assistant professor Priyanka Rao-Ruiz of VU Amsterdam. Three PhD candidates took the stage: Aina Badia Soteras (Department of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Niek Brosens (Structural and Functional Plasticity of the Nervous System group, SILS, University of Amsterdam), and Jeanet Karchoud (Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam UMC). Watch their presentations in the below starting from 23:25.

Escaping cognitive decline: the science behind the story

Assistant professor and head of Genomics of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Aging at the Department of Human Genetics at Amsterdam UMC, Henne Holstege, entered the stage to explain her work for the 100-plus study of Alzheimer Center Amsterdam. Followed by an interview with one of the participants of the 100-plus study, Mr. Van Vollenhoven, who shed some light on his daily life and how to reach this age while maintaining his cognitive health. Mr. Van Vollenhoven ends this session with an amazing musical performance (this part of the program is in Dutch). 

Network oscillations in Alzheimer’s disease

The program continues with a fundamental science part including the research report by Ronald van Kesteren, team leader at the Center of Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, on neuronal network alterations in early dementia. Followed by this year’s keynote lecture by Li-Huei Tsai, director of the Picower Institute of Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She gave an exciting keynote lecture called ‘Noninvasive sensory stimulation to induce gamma entrainment and neuroprotection’ that showed that 40Hz light and sound stimuli show beneficial effects on many aspects of different disease models for Alzheimer’s disease. Even more exciting: her preliminary work shows beneficial effects in human AD subjects as well. The public was engaged and she sparked an interest with her GENUS project. All the way from Cambridge Massachusetts, USA, Li-Huei Tsai joined us on a live connection to answer the publics' many questions.

Stress and resilience in psychiatry, from bed to bench side and back

During a dialogue with Christiaan Vinkers, associate professor and psychiatrist at Amsterdam UMC and GGZ ingest, he was assigned as full professor Stress and Resilience. Vinkers sheds his light on the relationship between stress and resilience in psychiatry. For almost all psychiatric and neurological disorders, (traumatic) stress is a major risk factor. However, considerable interindividual differences exist in stress vulnerability and resilience. How can we shed more light on the fundamental (neuro)biological background of stress resilience, but also make sure that patients can eventually benefit? In other words, can an integrative and translational approach to resilience offer a way forward?

Recap in poster presentations & Award ceremony

The top four presenters of the online poster market presented their research on stage. Emma Coomans, Lynn van Olst, Aina Badia Soteras, and Ana Millan Vidal were in the running to win the title ‘Best Poster Presentation 2021’. The audience of the Annual Meeting decided who became the winner and they voted for Lynn van Olst as best presentation of 2021 with her poster entitled ‘Aging blood factors promote CD8 T cell infiltration in the adult mouse brain’.

Special thanks to all speakers, poster presenters, the organization, and the participants of this year’s Annual Meeting. We look forward to next year!