To the PhD-students of the Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam and Brain Center Rudolf Magnus (Utrecht)

Annual PhD-Student Meeting – November 22nd and 23rd, 2018

This year the 25th edition of the Annual PhD-student Meeting will be held and we would like to welcome you to it. As you may know, the meeting offers the unique opportunity to present your work in a more informal and relaxed setting than at a conventional scientific conference. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to broaden your knowledge of neuroscience, to learn more about new and exciting neuroscience topics and techniques, and to socialize with other PhD students from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. A perfect way to extend your social and professional network!
This year, we are asking all attendees to indicate the main topic, technique and model (organism) they are working with. This will be used to form poster groups and select topics for the oral presentation sessions. We hope this will help everyone to have a more focused attendance and to improve interaction between people working on similar topics. Therefore, we encourage all PhD students to register as soon as possible.
The meeting will take place at Woudschoten Conference Centre in Zeist on November 22nd and 23rd, 2018. As you may know, participation in this meeting is obligatory for all ONWAR PhD-students. In order to get the certificate of the school at the PhD ceremony, full attendance at the meeting will be checked by a presence list that you have to sign at the start and at the end of the meeting. For PhD-students at BCRM the meeting is not obligatory, but complete attendance will be rewarded with 1 EC in case of attendance of the complete meeting.

Scientific sessions
The scientific sessions comprise oral presentations, blitz presentations and poster sessions. The type of presentation will be allotted according to the following rules:
• PhD students in the FOURTH year of their appointment are obliged to give an oral presentation.
• PhD students in the THIRD year of their appointment are obliged to give a blitz presentation followed by a poster presentation.
• PhD students in the SECOND year of their appointment are obliged to present a poster.
• PhD students in the FIRST year of their appointment must join in the evaluation of the poster presentations, and may choose to present a poster when they have any results to present.

PhD-students with a 3-years contract will have to present a poster in their 1st year, a blitz/poster presentation in their 2nd year, and an oral presentation in their 3rd year.

This year again, special attention will be paid to participation in the questions after each oral presentation. The purpose of this is to stimulate feedback on the scientific content and to improve your skills to defend your scientific work and criticize that of others, a key factor in scientific progress.
Awards will be presented to the best poster, blitz presentation and oral presentation.

- The official language of the meeting is English.
- All poster and oral presenters should submit an abstract in advance.
- Each “data blitz” presenter will get 90 seconds to promote the research presented in his/her poster and to convince the audience to visit the poster. During the subsequent poster session there will be ample time for in-depth scientific discussion with fellow PhD-students and staff members of the graduate schools.

Registration and abstract
For registration and abstract submission, please use the following link:
Deadline for registration and abstract submission is August 24th, 2018.

Based on the abstracts the organizing committee will prepare a program for the meeting. There will be parallel oral sessions in which several topics will be covered in a bed-to-bench approach. The selection of topics to be covered depends on the registration of PhD-students and on their research topics. Thus, if you want your topic to be included in the program, make sure to register on time. Groups for the poster sessions will be formed on the basis of the selected topic, technique and/or model (organism).

This year’s Swammerdam lecture will be held by Prof. Wolfram Schultz from the Dept. of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, Univ. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. Rewards are involved in learning, approach behaviour, economic choices and positive emotions. Prof. Schultz and his group investigate the dopamine reward prediction error signal during decision making using neurophysiological and behavioural methods. They conceptualise rewards as probability distributions of value, which offers a formal approach to the study of value and risk. Decision makers maximize utility, the fundamental economic decision variable that mathematically defines subjective reward value. The dopamine reward response constitutes a utility prediction error signal that helps decision makers obtain the best reward. This fast reward signal differs from slower dopamine activations heterogeneously changing with movements. By contrast, the prediction error signal may be altered or less effective in reward disorders by improperly affecting other neuronal systems involved in economic decisions. It is a great honour to have Prof. Schultz as a speaker at the 2018 PhD-student meeting.

An evening event will take place on November 22nd. So join other participating PhD students, make new friends and enjoy this year’s event!
The final program of the meeting will be available from mid October and will be handed out at the start of the meeting in Woudschoten.

If you have any queries, please send an e-mail to Els Borghols (

Date to keep in mind:
August 24th, 2018 is the deadline for your registration and abstract submission.

See you at Woudschoten,
the organizing committee,

Bastijn van den Boom
Diede Broekaart
Isabell Ehmer
Julien Fiorilli
Fiona Heeman
Vivi Heine
Fran van Heusden
Janssen Kotah
Hanna Lammertse
Marlijn van der Poel
Danielle van Rossum
Koen Seignette
Esther Visser
Ysbrand van der Werf
Els Borghols

The fixed topics designed to group your research with that of others on the same field are:

A. Development
01. Brain Patterning
02. Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis
03. Stem Cells, transplantation and regeneration
04. Axon and Dendrite Development and synaptogenesis
05. Development of Motor, Sensory and Limbic Systems

B. Neural Excitability, Synapses, and Glia: Cellular Mechanisms
01. Neurotransmitters and Signaling Molecules
02. G-Protein Linked Receptors
03. Ion Channels
04. Transporters
05. Synaptic Transmission & plasticity
06. Intrinsic Membrane Properties
07. Glia-Neuron Interactions

C. Disorders of the Nervous System
01. Translational Mechanisms (animal models)
02. Neurodegenerative Disorders and Movement Disorders
03. Aging;
04. Developmental Disorders (e.g., autism, fragile X syndrome)
05. Epilepsy
06. Ischemia & Stroke recovery
07. Demyelinating Disorders
08. Trauma, Neurotoxicity, Inflammation, and Neuroprotection
09. Neuro-Oncology
10. Sensory Disorders
11. Schizophrenia and Bi-polar Disorder
12. Cognitive, Emotional, and Behavioral State Disorders
13. Drugs of Abuse and Addiction

D. Sensory and Motor Systems
01. Vision and Visual processing
02. Other sensory systems
03. Pain
04. Motor systems

E. Integrative Systems: Neuroendocrinology, Neuroimmunology and Homeostatic Challenge
01. Neuroimmunology
02. Neuroendocrinology
03. Autonomic Regulation
04. Stress and the Brain
05. Water & Energy balance
06. Biological Rhythms and Sleep

F. Cognition and Behavior
01. Human Cognition and Behavior
02. Animal Cognition and Behavior
03. Motivation and Emotion
04. Learning

G. Novel Methods and Technology Development
01. Molecular, Biochemical, and Genetic Techniques
02. Genomics, Proteomics, and Systems Biology
03. Staining, Tracing, and Imaging Techniques
04. Physiological Methods
05. Bioinformatics
06. Computation, Modeling, and Simulation
07. Data Analysis and Statistics

Brain stimulation (tDSC, TMS, DBS)
Genomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics
Imaging living cells/neurons (e.g. calcium imaging)
Pharmacology and neuromodulatory measurements
Structural/Functional brain imaging (e.g. MRI, CT, PET, SPECT)
Stem cells/iPSCs

Model organism
Computer models
Cell cultures
Simple organisms (C. elegans, Drosophila, Zebrafish)
Non-human primate