To find causal relationships between the mechanisms of a healthy brain and the origin of disease, as well as to help treat brain pathologies, our Cellular & Molecular Mechanisms program investigates molecular and physiological processes and bridges the gap between genome information and phenotypes. Key to this program is its importance for all specific brain disease indications and its links to other programs. We pride ourselves on our high-quality research, cutting-edge technology, the top-class experts and scientists involved, and the integration of expertise into joint multidisciplinary projects.

Rationale and common goals

The objective of the program Cellular & Molecular Mechanisms is to find causal relationships in brain mechanisms of the healthy brain and the origin of disease. We investigate molecular processes and integrate such processes at higher levels of organization: organelles, cells, networks and the whole brain. In order to treat brain pathologies, it is necessary to improve the understanding of basic brain functions and assess which molecular and physiological mechanisms are involved in those functions. The strength of this theme is its uniform importance for all specific brain disease indications and its links to all other programs. Moreover it includes cutting edge technology and the experts that are needed to implement this.

Key indicators

  • Mechanistic research.
  • Aiming to elucidate cause and consequence in biological and pathological processes.
  • Connecting genome to phenotype.
  • Using quantitative as well as qualitative approaches.


  • Top class scientists: top papers, 6 VICIs, 2ERCs, coordinators of large EU projects.
  • Cutting edge technology and infrastructure: quantitative proteomics, life cell imaging, FACS, laser capture dissection, brain organoid culture, In utero electroporation, in vivo multi-unit recordings and optogenetics, cellomics, computational modeling.
  • Excellent integration of expertise into joint multidisciplinary projects.
  • Availability of essential animal models systems.

Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms is capable of nurturing all clinical themes in Amsterdam Neuroscience while also maintaining good connections to industry (biotech, pharma), including spin-offs (Sylics BV and Macrobian BV) and also is able to stimulate new initiatives due to its strong scientific and innovative nature.

Making the difference

The essence of this research program is:

  • The high quality-driven research with strong team spirit and availability of involved experts on all topics.
  • The ability to bridge the gap between genome information and neurobiological processes and behavioral phenotypes.
  • The use of cutting edge technology and availability of unique animal models to solve complex questions.
  • The implementation of human embryonic stem cell - and patient derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) strategies in order to generate new models that connect fundamental brain research towards clinical relevant questions.

Program leaders

Taskforce team

Program members