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Ronald Verwer: CV



Position: senior investigator
Affiliation: Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

Address: Meibergdreef 47, 1105 BA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Web: click here




Ronald W.H. Verwer studied biology with chemistry at the University of Amsterdam. During his study (1970-1974) he worked as a part-time teacher (biology, chemistry and physics) at the PCNS-Comprehensive School in Haarlem (NL). The doctoral exam was passed (cum laude) in March 1976. Main topic: Electron Microscopy and Molecular Cytology (University of Amsterdam, NL) with secondary topics: Plantphysiology (University of Amsterdam, NL) and Theoretical Biology (University of Leiden, NL). Subsequently, he worked with a BION grant from the Organisatie voor Zuiver Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (ZWO) to study the orientation and incorporation of cell wall polymers in E. coli, for which he received his PhD degree in June 1979. This work was carried out mainly at the Laboratory for Electron Microscopy and Molecular Cytology (University of Amsterdam) adviser: Prof. Nanne Nanninga, and partly at the Department of Biochemistry (Max Planck Institut für Virusforschung, Tübingen, Germany) adviser: Dr. Uli Schwarz. From March 1979 onwards he is a staff member at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research (now Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience; NIN) in Amsterdam.  From January 1996 onwards he works at the NIN in the Department of Neuropsychiatric Disorders with Prof. Dick F. Swaab to study reactivation of neurons in aging and neurodegenerative diseases (in particular Alzheimer's disease). In the period 2008-2011 he is a visiting professor at the Anhui Provincial Hospital (Hefei, Anhui, PR China). For the complete curriculum vitae click here


Postdoctoral education

1993 "Advanced course on DNA technology" at the E.C. Slater Institute for Biochemistry (University of Amsterdam). 

2001 course "Introduction to Biocomputing for the Genomic Sciences" at the University of Utrecht.

2001 statistical course "Analyzing Mixed Effects Models" by Dr. J.C. Pinheiro (Lucent Technologies, USA) organized by Candiensten in Amsterdam.

2004 practical training course in "Human Embryonic Stem Cell Culture" at the Centre for Stem Cell Biology (The University of Sheffield, UK).

2005 course "Stem cells" at the Hubrecht Laboratory (Utrecht).

Research lines in the "reactivation of neurons" theme


1. Can exogenous neural stem cells rescue degenerating neurons in postmortem adult human brain tissue?
Decreased metabolic activity and atrophy of neurons are major hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Since many neurons in most areas of the brain are still present in AD patients but in a less active form, reactivation of neurons is considered to be a promising therapeutic strategy for AD. We have developed a unique in vitro system of postmortem human brain tissue culturing with the specific aim to study functional reactivation of neurons in aging and AD. Neurons in brain tissue slices obtained by rapid autopsies (postmortem delay: 2-10 hr) by the Netherlands Brain Bank remain viable for several weeks and can be manipulated experimentally. We have established that factors released by E14 rat embryonic neural stem cells can enhance the viability of cultured postmortem neurons from Alzheimer patients. Key words: Alzheimer's disease, embryonic neural stem cells, neocortex, postmortem, tissue culture.


2. Can endogenous adult neural precursor/stem cells be induced to help degenerating neurons? 

The text for this line is presently under revision. Key words: epilepsy, neocortex, tissue culture, trauma.