Neuron-Glia Interactions


Course Objective

The course Neuron-Glia interactions aims to go beyond the neuron-only
view on functioning of the brain. Glial cells are as numerous as neurons
and have traditionally been viewed to support neuronal functions,
however, research of the last 2 decades suggests that glial cells may do
more than just supporting neuronal function. In fact, for the past few
years it has become evident that the functioning of the brain can be
understood only if the interaction of all cell types, i.e. neurons and
glial cells, is understood. This is a new understanding that is only
slowly becoming part of textbooks. The aim of this ‘Neuron-Glia
interactions’ course is to go educate MSc students in the contemporary
insights on cellular processes that underlie brain function.
At the end of this course you will be able to
• explain the cellular characteristics of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes
and microglia cells.
• explain the functional role of the different glia cell types in the
central nervous system.
• describe the current view on the implication of glia cell in different
brain disorders, e.g. psychiatric, mood and neurodegenerative disorders.
• analyze how landmark Neuroscience papers (in the Glia field) are
generated and composed.
• construct a research proposal (on a Glia research project)

Course Content

This course builds on existing knowledge, obtained from BSc and early
MSc education, on neurobiology at the molecular, cellular and
physiological level. Lectures from glia research expert from different
universities will provide MSc students the required basic insight on
neuron-glia interactions, which forms a frame work for later parts in
the course were we will focus on thorough analysis of landmark papers in
the Glia field, followed by the design and writing of a research
proposal on Neuron-Glia interactions in health or disease.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, supervised workgroups and individual assignments, self-study.

Method of Assessment

The grading procedure will be as follows:
• Grade of the contribution to workgroups on paper analyses: 10%
• Grade of research project presentation: 10%
• Research proposal: 30%
• Final exam (lecture content): 50%
The grades for the Research proposal and Final exam cannot compensate
for each other and should both be at least 5.5. The final grade needs to
be at least 5.5 to pass. For students that do not pass, one re-exam will
be available.
Participation in all workgroups is obligatory. Attending the lectures is
highly recommended.


Required literature (research papers) will be provided at the start of
the course

Recommended background knowledge

This course builds on existing knowledge, obtained from BSc and early
MSc education, on neurobiology at the molecular, cellular and
physiological level.

General Information

Course Code AM_1217
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. M.H.G. Verheijen
Examiner dr. M.H.G. Verheijen
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group, Lecture