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Let's talk about it: Mental Health and the Brain

Dick Swaab and Eus van Someren

“It's time we break free from the taboo around mental health. This session will be divided in 3 parts: a scientific introduction by Dick Swaab of what do stress and depression do to the brain; a testimonial by Eus Van Someren about what is it to be a PI suffering from depression  and we will wrap everything up with some group dynamics.”

Dick Swaab

Head of department Neuropsychiatric Disorders at the NIN. His work focuses on understanding the molecular aspects of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkison’s disease as well as depression and suicide. Through a better understanding of these diseases he hopes to break down the taboo and stigma associated with them.

Eus van Someren

Eus J. Van Someren is professor of human brain activity of sleep, rest and vigilance at the department of intergrative neurophysiology (faculty of science, VU University), the Netherlands Institue for Neuroscience (Herseninstituut) and the department of psychiatry Amsterdam UMC/VUmc. His main interests focus on understanding brain circuits involved in insomnia. 

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Night Science
Martin Lercher

“Where do ideas come from? What we call the "scientific method" tells you what to do once you have a hypothesis- that's day science. But where do ideas and hypothesis come from in the first place?  Martin Lercher has been exploring this mystery in editorials and a podcast. During this session you'll learn and practice different tools for the generation of scientific ideas.”

Martin Lercher

He is Professor at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf at both the Institute for Computer Science and the Department of Biology. He is interested in the molecular organization and evolution of cellular systems, in particular metabolism. His major aim is to understand design principles that arise from the optimization of complex systems through natural selection. 

More info about Night Science at:

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Women in Science
Elly Hol


Becoming a scientist is not easy. Becoming a successful scientist is even more difficult.. But what is it to become a female successful scientist? Elly Hol will walk us through the marshes of  establishing yourself as a woman  in the scientific community. Leadership, entrepreneurship, passion and resilience are some of the skills that she has developed and that have helped her to get where she is. But, is it equally difficult for men and women to become a successful scientist? Do women have the same opportunities? Are they valued and respected equally? Why do we only hear of men’s names in Science? Elly will give us some of the answers to these questions although we can tell you beforehand that her motto is “don’t give up”. 

Please be ready to actively participate in this interactive session where there will be plenty of room for questions and discussions; a safe space to listen and debate.

Elly Hol

She is the head of department of Translational Neuroscience at the UMC Utrecht. The main aim of her research is to understand the role of glia in various brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and glioma, and to study the regenerative potential of the astrocytic stem cells in brain diseases.

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