The expertise centre combines expertise of Clinical Genetics, Cell- and Developmental Biology and Neuroscience available at the Clinical Genetics and Child Neurology Departments. The Executive board consists of dr. Vivi Heine, prof. dr. Danielle Posthuma and prof. dr. Matthijs Verhage.

Executive board

Dr. Vivi Heine Developmental Biologist

Dr Vivi Heine is neurobiologist with a focus on stem cells and neurodevelopmental disorders. In January 2010, after her postdoctoral training at the Harvard University and the University of California at San Francisco (USA), she received a tenure-track position at the Department of Pediatrics, VUMC. She built a new laboratory equipped for pioneering stem cell research and to perform stem cell research which will translate into improved therapeutic strategies. She has been awarded a NWO Vernieuwingsimpuls VIDI and the ‘Internationaal Doorbraakproject’ within the ZonMw Translational Adult Stem Cell Program (TAS) to explore cell replacement therapies for children with white matter disorders.

Prof. dr. Danielle Posthuma Geneticist

Prof. dr. Danielle Posthuma is statistical geneticist at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam and VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam. She is director of the Genetic Cluster Computer hosted by SurfSARA, which serves as a central storage and data center of a large number of national and international genetic studies. As head of the Department of Complex Trait Genetics, she focuses on developing novel methods that aid in detecting genes for brain diseases. Her main research focus lies on identifying genetic pathways for brain disorders, and psychiatric disorders in particular. She has co-authored > 150 papers in journals including Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience and Nature Genetics.

Prof. dr. Matthijs Verhage Neuroscientist

Prof. dr. Matthijs Verhage is neuroscientist and head of the Functional Geneomics department at Clinical Genetics, VUmc. He has worked on synapses, the contact sites between nerve cells for several decades and developed methods to study networks of nerve cells in culture. He published more than 100 papers on synapses and communication between nerve cells.

Board of trustees:

prof. dr. E.J. Meijers-Heijboer

prof dr. Arjen B. Brussaard

prof dr. Marjo S. Van der Knaap


The expertise center works together with geneticists and neuroscientists in the Netherlands and worldwide.

The expertise center is embedded in the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research. The CNCR is the research center of the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam. More than 20 research teams at CNCR with unique and complementary expertise connect to the expertise centre and provide additional expertise for instance on in vivo approaches, high throughput assays, genome-wide association analyses, pathway analyses, proteomics, physiology, electron microscopy, life cell imaging, glia biology and rodent behavior.

The center is connected to a number of national and international centers working on human neural cell types. We have formal collaborations with The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (prof. Patrick Sullivan), the Max Planck Center for Experimental Medicine in Gottingen, Germany (prof. Nils Brose), the Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology in Bonn (prof. Oliver Brustle), the University of Wuerzburg (prof. Frank Edenhofer), The Center for Children with White Matter Disorders (Prof. dr. Marjo van der Knaap; Dr. Nicole Wolf), and the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam (Prof. dr. Eleonora Aronica; Dr. Stephan Kemp; Prof. dr. Arthur Bergen).