April 24, 2013

BCN Lecture
Speaker: Dr. Linda Booij (Sainte-Justine’s Hospital Research Center, University of Montreal and at the Dept. of Psychiatry, McGill University, Canada)
Title: Genetic and Early Environmental Influences on the Serotonin System: Consequences for Brain Development and Risk for Mental Illness.
Location: Room 3216.0062, University Medical Center Groningen

Adverse events can occur and affect the brain at various stages, from gestation until adulthood. Such adverse events can affect the brain in many ways, including alterations in monoaminergic neurotransmission, brain structure, endocrinology, among others, all of which may interact. Given the important role of serotonin in brain development, alterations in the serotonin system as a result of early adverse events may be particularly relevant. I will discuss how in utero and early postnatal adversity, in combination with genetic factors, could affect the developing serotonin system in humans. The overarching hypothesis is that an early disruption in serotonin homeostasis could lower the vulnerability threshold in brain circuits involved in emotion regulation, thereby predisposing the individual to mental illness when exposed to stressful events later in life. The studies I present use a combination of brain imaging, genetic, epigenetic (i.e. DNA methylation) and cognitive-emotional assessments in adult and child/adolescent human participants. Such a multidisciplinary approach is crucial to better understand an individual’s vulnerability to mental illness and how targeting early environmental events can foster more optimal brain development, which could prove important in the prevention of mental health problems.

March 8, 2013

Clinical Neurophysiology Technical Meeting ‘Clinical Neurophysiology and Neuroimaging in movement disorders’
Chair: Prof. N.M. Maurits
10.00-17.00 Rode Zaal, University Medical Center Groningen

November 14, 2012

PhD ceremony: Ms. J. Karsten, 12.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: On the treshold of disorder. Definition and course of subthreshold depression and subthreshold anxiety
Promotor(s): prof. W.A. Nolen, prof. B.W.J.H Penninx

October 31, 2012

PhD ceremony: Ms. F.I. Abma, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: Work functioning development and evaluation of a measurement tool
Promotor(s): prof. J.J.L. van der Klink, prof. U. Bültmann

October 22-24, 2012

WDPI 2012
Second Scientific Conference on Work Disability Prevention and Integration
‘Healthy ageing in a working society’
University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands

Program chair: Ute Bültmann