Neuroscientist Marisa Zwan has recently been appointed as new program coordinator of the Master’s program Neurosciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Zwan works as a researcher at the Alzheimer center Amsterdam since 2011.

Research projects on dementia

Zwan focuses with her research at the Alzheimer center on the early recognition of people with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Early recognition is essential for research into prevention of dementia. In addition, Zwan recently started a unique prevention study in which a personalized lifestyle program is developed. Participants receive tailor made advice about nutrition, exercise, brain training, but also, sleep and stress. Zwan hopes to start with the national prevention platform next year. Participants are invited via the national online platform, where interested parties are informed about scientific research. This research project is supported by ZonMw, the Dutch Brain Foundation, Alzheimer Nederland, Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, JPND and NWO.

Additional challenge

Next to all her research projects, Zwan started a new challenge at the end of April as a program coordinator for the Master’s program Neuroscience. Together with her colleagues Madison Carr (neuroscientist and junior lecturer) and Casper de Boer (senior researcher and also affiliated with Alzheimer center Amsterdam), they are now taking care of the two-year master that starts on 1 September. If the corona measures allow this.

Marissa Zwan: With this neurosciences master, we hope to train the new generation of neuroscientists and share our enthusiasm for brain research. Only through scientific research we can find breakthroughs in the search for treatments against diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Master’s progam in Neurosciences

Brain disorders, in particular neurodegenerative diseases and mental illnesses, are among the most prevalent and debilitating diseases of our time. They are typically caused by the interplay of environmental factors and genetic variation in multiple genes, which is currently being mapped by major international initiatives. Future brain research should therefore focus on integrative projects as a next step in characterizing this complex environmental/ genetic interplay and in revealing how it translates into brain function and/or disease. To succeed, we need a new generation of neuroscientists capable of integrating information from genes and proteins to synapses, and from networks up to complex brain function and dysfunction. Read more about the Master Neuroscience at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.  

Source: Alzheimer center Amsterdam