For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
On this page:

Congrats to our former PhD student Sylvie Lesuis on receiving a Rubicon 2019 grant from NWO, allowing her to work on stress and fear with Sheena Josselyn  in Canada. For more information check the news article


On 7 February 2019, SILS organized an international 'SILS-CNS 2.0' Neuroscience symposium; aside from presentations by the 4 neuroscience groups, 4 world-class speakers presented their work; Gabriel Santpere from Yale, Tracy Bale from U Maryland, Baltimore, Mathew Diamond from SISSA, Trieste and Keynote Speaker Robert Malinow. 

SILS CNS 2.0 2019 compilation
An impression of the SILS CNS 2.0 day


Paul Lucassen was External Examiner of the PhD thesis (Viva) of Danka Kozareva at University College Cork, Ireland, 28 January 2019. 


November 2018; Paul Lucassen, together with Aniko Korosi, Helmut Kessels and Harm Krugers, received a grant from Alzheimer Nederland (200 kE) for a project on; 'Early diet and stress modulate Alzheimer changes via microglia and synapses". 

Kitty Reemst posterprice ENCP

ECNP meeting October 2018. 

Our group attended the 31st ECNP Congress in Barcelona with sessions organized and chaired by Harm Krugers on ‘Individual vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease’ and by Paul Lucassen on 'New advances in the therapy of Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease’. 

Aniko Korosi further gave a lecture on; "The interplay between early-life stress and neuroinflammation on structure and function of the brain throughout life”, Harm Krugers spoke about 'Early life experiences, amyloid pathology and cognitive function’, while Paul Lucassen gave an overview of the latest developments in Alzheimer’s research in his Highlight on Dementia. 

Finally, Maralinde Abbink, Kitty Reemst and Sylvie Ruigrok presented well atttended posters, with Kitty Reemst winning the poster prize. 

Sofie Laye
Prof. Sofie Laye. Photo: IRNA-France

On 22 March 2018, on the occasion of the PhD thesis defense of Kit-Yi Yam, Prof. Sofie Laye from the NutriNeuro group in Bordeaux visited our group and delivered a great talk at Aniko Korosi her BrainSINposium on; The impact of polyunsaturated fatty acids on the brain.

Staci Bilbo
Prof. Staci Bilbo. Photo: Harvard University, USA

On March 22nd, on the occasion of the PhD defense of Lianne Hoeijmakers, Prof. Staci Bilbo from Harvard University USA visited our group and delivered a great talk at Aniko Korosi her BrainSINposium on; ‘Inflammatory challenges early in life'.

Davide Tonelli

On 26 October 2017, Dr Davide De Pietri Tonelli, from the Neurobiology of miRNAs lab of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genova, Italy

visited our lab on the occasion of the PhD ceremony of Pascal Bielefeld, and delivered a very stimulating lecture on 'MicroRNAs and stem cells’, hosted by Dr Carlos Fitzsimons. 

Dr Sheena Josselyn

On 23 May 2017, as part of an ABC / Swammerdam Lecture (host: Harm Krugers), Dr Sheena Josselyn from the University of Toronto, Canada

delivered an excellent and very well attented lecture on 'Making, breaking and linking memories'.

On 27 January 2017, as part of the Amsterdam Brain & Cognition program, Dr Matthew Holt of the Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology

delivered a splendid and well attended lecture on the differences between astrocytes, entitled 'Cell by cell: molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte heterogeneity in the CNS'.

Henriette van Praag

On 12 September 2016, Dr Henriette van Praag (NIH/NIA Baltimore, USA)

visited our group and delivered a very stimulating 2 hour talk on ' Regulation and function of adult hippocampal neurogenesis: the role of exercise'.


  • Paul Lucassen gave a Public Lecture on Brain Plasticity (in Dutch) at the ‘Sciencepark in de binnenstad: neurobiologie versus neuro-informatica’ event, together with Sennay Ghebreab and chaired by Martijn van Calmthout, in the Amsterdam Academic Club on 26 March 2020, and further delivered a public lecture (in Dutch) on ‘Stress en het brein’, for the Amsterdam Broodfonds, Media Monks, Houthaven Amsterdam, 26 March 2020.

  • As part of the UvA Health Week, Paul Lucassen gave a public lecture on; ‘What does stress do to your brain?’ Science Park, 14 May 2019.

  • Paul Lucassen gave 2 Laymen lectures (in Dutch) on ‘Hersenonderzoek in de praktijk’, for 3 HV students at the Montessori Scholengemeenschap Amsterdam, 21 Nov 2019 and for 4 VWO at the Herman Wesseling College Amstelveen, 19 dec 2019.

  • In March 2017, within the framework of the Brain Awareness Week, Anouk Schrantee and Michelle Solleveld delivered a high school lecture on 'Exercise effects on the brain’.
  •  On Oct 31st 2017, within the framework of the HartStichting crowdfunding grant awarded to Dr. Anouk Schrantee, Paul Lucassen delivered a laymens lecture in Dutch on ‘Stress effects on the brain’ in the AMC, Amsterdam.
  • In September 2017, Harm Krugers delivered an UvA pop-up college on the ferry near Amsterdam Central station on ‘Stress’. See link;
  • 30 May 2017, Paul Lucassen delivered a laymen lecture on 'Our brain under stress' (in Dutch), at the Congres of Pawlik Consultancy 2017 – 'Presteren onder Druk’, in Dauphine, Amsterdam.


  • Paul Lucassen gave an invited lecture on; ‘Brain plasticity and neurogenesis in relation to early life stress, nutrition, depression and dementia’, at the Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, Feb 2019.

  • Paul also acted as Faculty opponent for the PhD defense of Francesca Marchisella, with host Prof. Eleanor Coffey, Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku, Finland, May 2019, and gave a lecture there on ‘Brain Plasticity in relation to (early) stress, nutrition and depression’.

  • Paul Lucassen was invited to give a lecture on; ‘Cognitive reserve and plasticity from a neurobiological perspective; focus on early life’ at the Cognitive Reserve Symposium at the Veranda, Alzheimer Centrum, Amsterdam, 18 Sept 2019.

  • Paul Lucassen was invited to give a talk on; ‘Brain plasticity in relation to (early life) stress, nutrition and dementia’, at the International WASAD congress, Wuerzburg Germany, 5 October 2019.

  • Paul Lucassen was invited to give a lecture; ‘Neurobiology of Alzheimer’s disease; recent developments’, at TNO BPRS Rijswijk, 19 Nov 2019.

  • At the 2018 Dutch Neuroscience meeting in June 2018 in Lunteren, our group was well represented; we organized several sessions on: 
    - Brain lipid metabolism in health and disease (chair Aniko Korosi and Maralinde Abbink),
    - Exercise, stress and hippocampal plasticity (chairs: Paul Lucassen & Anouk Schrantee),
    - Cognitive bias in stress and depression (chairs: Sabine Spijker & Aniko Korosi)
    – In search of the memory engram (chairs: Sylvie Lesuis & Harm Krugers).
    Talks were further delivered at the DNM by; Paul Lucassen, Sylvie Ruigrok, Maralinde Abbink, Sylvie Lesuis, Kitty Reemst, Anouk Schrantee and Antonia Kaiser.
  • Paul Lucassen was chair of the Keynote lecture by Prof.Dr. Steven Matthews from Toronto, while posters were presented by Pascal Bielefeld and Janssen Kotah and by several of our talented bachelor and master students; Nathalie Immerzeel, Cato De Vos, Aline Mak, Miriam Öttl, Genevieve Yvon-Durocher, Lisette van den Brand, Laura Verboon Paul Kaplick, Nina Stöberl, Renee Clausing and Anna Davidson.
  • Paul Lucassen delivered an invited lecture on; “Effects of early life stress on later brain plasticity and disease vulnerability” at the MQ Mental Health meeting in London, UK, 2 feb 2018 and in May 2018, Paul delivered an invited lecture on “Brain plasticity and (human) neurogenesis in relation to (early) stress and depression’, at the Institute Italiano di Tecnologica in Genova, Italy, 17 May 2018.
  • On March 22nd, on the occasion of the PhD defenses of Lianne Hoeijmakers and Kit Yi Yam, Aniko Korosi organized an international and very well attended “BrainSINposium on Stress, Inflammation and Nutrition” in Amsterdam, with several international speakers from France and the US. More information can be foun on the Brainsinposium website.
  •  On March 9th, 2017, Paul Lucassen was international PhD opponent for the PhD thesis of Christian Von Lindow on ‘Serotonerrgic modulation of amyloidosis in Alzheimer’-like disease in mice’, and also delivered a Lecture on 'Structural plasticity in relation to depression and dementia', at the Department of Neurobiology Research, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark (host; Prof. Dr. B. Finsen), Odense, Denmark.

  • On Oct 24th 2017, as part of the Erasmus exchange program, Paul Lucassen delivered a lecture at the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Histochemistry of the University of Athens, Greece, on ‘Adult Neurogenesis; regulation by stress and disease'.

  • On Oct 25th, Paul Lucassen delivered a lecture at the Department of Psychiatry in Athens, Greece, on ‘Structural plasticity changes in relation to (early) stress and depression'. 

  • In May 2017, Paul Lucassen delivered an invited lecture on 'Regulation of neurogenesis by stress and antidepressants' at the Varna meeting on Adult primate neurogenesis in Varna, Bulgaria.

  • On Tuesday 5th of September 2017, Paul Lucassen chaired a well attended session on 'The effects of exercise on cognitive functioning and its contribution to healthy aging' at the 30th ECNP meeting in Paris. Both Henriette van Praag (Baltimore, USA) and Kirk Erickson (USA) delivered very stimulating lectures on this topic, both from an animal experimental and clinical perspective, respectively.

  • Paul Lucassen delivered his lecture on neurogenesis to an audience of over 200 interested people at the UvA University Day on 4 June 2016.

  • Carlos Fitzsimons' presentation on Epigenetic regulation of glucocorticoid actions in adult neurogenesis was highlighted in the The node, a scientific news website maintained by The Company of Biologists, publishers of some of the important journals in the field, such as 'Development'


  • Kitty Reemst (PhD candidate with Aniko Korosi) has won the poster price at the 31st ENCP Congress in Barcelona (2018)

  • In the fall of 2017, Dr Anouk Schrantee was awarded the 2nd place in the AMC PhD thesis prize (1 kE) (promotors Reneman, Lucassen and Rombouts)


  • June 2019; Paul Lucassen is board member of the new UvA Research Priority Area 'Urban Mental Health’, awarded Mar 2019, see the webpage of the Research Priority Area UMH for more information.

  • Fall 2019; both both Aniko Korosi and Joram Mul received grants with AMC and VU resp, from Amsterdam Neuroscience.

  • Fall 2019; 2 Urban Mental Health PhD projects were awarded to Harm Krugers with Richard Ridderinkhof (FMG) and to Joram Mul with Anouk Schrantee (AMC).

  • Nov 2018; Paul Lucassen, together with Aniko Korosi, Helmut Kessels and Harm Krugers, received a grant from Alzheimer Nederland (200 kE) for a project on; 'Early diet and stress modulate Alzheimer changes via microglia and synapses'. 

  • Congratulations to our postdoc Anouk Schrantee, working with the Lucassen (SILS) and Reneman (AMC) groups, who received a VENI grant (250 kE) to work on; "The brain’s response to medication: zooming in with pharmacological MRI."

  • Congratulations to our postdoc Eva Naninck who received an ISRHML FLRF TEP Trainee Bridge Fund Award of 100 kE.

  • In 2017, Harm Krugers received an ABC grant (250 kE) with Gazolla and Keysers (NIN) on ‘Early life stress, empathy and prosocial behavior’. 

  • Harm Krugers received a grant from Alzheimer Nederland (100 kE) on 'The early life environment and Alzheimer’s disease'.

  • Dr Anouk Schrantee received a crowdfunding grant (50 kE) from the Dutch Heart Foundation 2017 on 'Neurotransmitter regulation of heart rhythms during stress'.

  • In the fall 2017, Dr Anouk Schrantee received 2 joint Alliance grants from Amsterdam Neuroscience on ‘Compulsivity, impulsivity and attention’ (25 kE) and on ‘Brain Imaging’ ( 25 kE).

  • In 2016, Carlos Fitzsimons received as coordinator an ERA-NET NEURO grant (250 kE) on ‘Neural stem cell reactivity in relation to traumatic brain injury’.