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IBL-PhD-student Michelle Spierings delivered a great performance at the FameLab national final on the 21st of April. Michelle is back to writing papers for her PhD-thesis after having been in the spotlight for quite a while. Michelle addressed that science can yield information and understanding which may avoid unnecessary restrictions on industrial activities offshore as well as avoid unnecessary damage to the marine life and the underwater environment: “making economy and ecology meet”. FameLab is one of the biggest science communication competitions in the world and the winner of the Dutch competition in 2015 became Marcia Brandenburg-Goddard.
Michelle Spierings talking science with Andre Kuipers in the NTR programme “De kennis van nu”, which was broadcasted on Dutch national tv. The Faculty of Science is pleased to invite you on Friday 17 April to the opening event of the Leiden Metabolomics Facility with a mini symposium. The Leiden Metabolomics Facility is a joint collaboration between the Natural Products Laboratorium of the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) and the BioMedical Facility Leiden of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) and will be opened by Mr.
During the mini symposium both national and international pioneers in the field of metabolomics will present exciting insights in how metabolomics is already changing the life sciences and will change health care.
Vicencio Oostra, who defended his PhD-thesis at the IBL successfully in June 2013, published new insights into the hormonal regulation of butterfly responses to fluctuating environments. Seasonal variation in ecological threats and opportunities has a major impact on the life of small animals. African butterflies of the species Bicyclus anynana are well-known to switch life styles with seasons: in the dry season they have a cryptic appearance and they invest most energy in body reserves to increase chances of survival.
Earlier work had already shown that seasonal variation in temperature is the trigger for one or the other divergent developmental pathways within the pupae.
Vicencio did his research together with former supervisors and collaborators from the IBL Paul Brakefield (now at Cambridge University), Bas Zwaan (now at Wageningen University) and Patricia Beldade (now at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Oeiras, Portugal).
Michiel van der Vaart with a team from Leiden University and the LUMC, led by IBL-researcher Annemarie Meijer, discovered that DRAM1 is a protein that regulates anti-bacterial autophagy, a defense mechanism against infections such as tuberculosis. Autophagy (literally self-eating) has long been known as a cellular mechanism to degrade and recycle damaged components. DRAM1 (DNA damage-regulated autophagy modulator 1) has previously drawn attention because of its role in cellular stress and cancer.
Exploiting the advantages of the zebrafish in vivo model for tuberculosis, van der Vaart et al. The role of DRAM1 as an inducer of anti-mycobacterial autophagy makes this pathway a highly interesting therapeutic target for tuberculosis. IBL-researcher Phil Elks in the group of Annemarie Meijer won the Cell Observatory Publication of the Year 2013.
Tuberculosis is a mycobacterial disease that was a major cause of death until the discovery of antibiotics in the mid-twentieth century.
Phil Elks and colleagues used an in vivo zebrafish model of TB to show that manipulation of the host genetic pathway responsible for detecting low oxygen levels (hypoxia) causes a decrease in mycobacterial infection. Figure 1: Schematic of the effect of modulating hypoxia signaling during early mycobacterial infection in zebrafish (Danio rerio).
This project was a collaborative effort of researchers at the Universities of Leiden and Sheffield. In 2013, Phil was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship to return to Sheffield to set up his own research group.
Phil Elks will present the results of the PLoS Pathogens publication in This Week’s Discoveries on the 25th of February. Wouter Halfwerk and colleagues from Panama and the US published a paper on multisensory communication in Science.
Male tungara frogs (Physalaemus pustulosus) croak to impress female frogs, but their calling activity coincidentally disturbs the water surface and produces ripples that are picked up by rival frogs and frog-eating bats. Wouter Halfwerk is a former PhD-student of the IBL and this is the first publication of his post-doctoral research funded through a Rubicon grant from NWO.
On Wednesday 6th of November Trin Rini Nuringtyas from Plant Ecology and Phytochemistry defended her PhD thesis "Pyrrolizidine alkaloid variation in Jacobaea plants: from plant organ to cell level”. The new website of the Marie-Curie Initial Training Network “FishForPharma” is designed to disseminate the project’s goals and results to the scientific community and to educate the general public about the use of zebrafish as model for human disease research. FishForPharma is a Marie Curie Initial Training network funded by the 7th Framework People Programme of the European Commission. FishForPharma brings together leading European research groups and partners from the Biotech and Pharma sectors from 5 EU member states. After his PhD in Leiden Rob stayed in Leiden as a member of staff eventually becoming professor of biochemistry and head of department. Besides leading a successful department Rob was a pioneer in the valorisation of the results of university research, for instance by patenting.
Rob was founding Editor-in Chief of the international journal Plant Molecular Biology and co-founder of the International Society of Plant Molecular Biology (ISPMB). Former IBL-employee Gerrit de Leeuw received the honor of becoming a “Knight” in the Order of Orange-Nassau (Ridder in de Orde van Oranje Nassau) for his life-time achievements as an employee and volunteer. Evolutionary Biologist Maurijn van der Zee was elected Teacher of the Year 2011 by the students of the Science Faculty.
New IBL-funding has been awarded for a large-scale collaborative project to assess the effects of anthropogenic underwater sounds on fish and marine mammals in the North Sea. Human activity in the North Sea is on the rise, involving, for example, increasingly more motorized cargo shipping, and rapidly expanding construction and operation of oil platforms and wind farms. In short, the aim is to develop and validate models for underwater sound generation, propagation and reception, and to explore and assess the impact of anthropogenic noise on fish and marine mammals. What is the composition, distribution and intensity of natural and anthropogenic sounds in the Dutch part of the North Sea?


What is the impact of various anthropogenic sounds on the behaviour and health of adult and larval fish? How do the composition, distribution and intensity of natural and anthropogenic sounds in the Dutch part of the North Sea influence the distribution and habitat use of marine mammals? Check for more information on the impact of anthropogenic noise on fish the news item on a recently published review.
Check for more information on an IBL-project on eel migration the news item on a recently received VENI-grant.
Also check out an unclassified report by TNO, Defence, Security, and Safety on: Assessment of natural and anthropogenic sound sources and acoustic propagation in the North Sea, by Michael Ainsly et al. Researchers from the Plant Ecology and Phytochemistry group at the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) received an STW (Stichting Technologische Wetenschappen) grant for applied studies in plant herbivore resistance with potential for a novel resistance test.
The production is vulnerable to three important pests: western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), and the celery leafminer (Liriomyza trifolii).
Tune in Tuesday, May 24th!Register Now Toggle navigation Institute for Integrative Nutrition (877) 780-5455Contact Us Institute for Integrative Nutrition Integrative Nutrition has trained Health Coaches all over the world. She spoke about her own work on the evolution of language, using zebrafinches and human infants, in the Leiden heat and the second round of the FameLab competition to get through to the national finals. She had again an excellent performance with scientific content, clearly explained and a take-home message that will echo.
She won the NTR Audience Award and the Dutch FameLab prize with a moving talk about the neuroscience behind autism. Speakers are among others Dick Weinshilboum, Professor Pharmacology at Mayo Clinic, and Rima Kaddurah-Daouk, Associate Professor of Pharmacometabolomics and Psychiatry at Duke University. In the dry season, they have brighter eye-patterns and they invest most energy in activities that increase chances of reproduction. And how do they convey this information to the various systems in their body that need to be adjusted to upcoming circumstances? Recently, it has become clear that autophagy also plays an important role in defense against intracellular pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The authors expect that their findings also have broader implications for infectious diseases caused by other intracellular pathogens. He received the award for his paper in PLoS Pathogens, showing that activation of hypoxia signaling protects against mycobacterial infection. However, TB is once again on the rise, with the emergence of strains that are multi-drug resistant.
This antimicrobial effect was due to a priming of immune cells with increased levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that is used by immune cells to kill bacteria.
Hypoxia signalling was modulated using dominant active and dominant negative constructs of the transcription factors Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) alpha 1 and 2.
Phil Elks was a post-doc in the lab of Dr Stephen Renshaw at The University of Sheffield, where he investigated hypoxia-induced genetic signalling (HIF signalling) and its role in wound-induced inflammation. The authors provide compelling data on the consequences of multisensory perception on signal evolution in tropical frogs. Wouter has shown that both frogs and bats integrate the ripples with the acoustic component to improve their perceptual assessment of a calling male, effectively turning the frog’s sexual behaviour into a multisensory display.
Rival frogs perceive the ripples through tactile sensation, while bats are thought to scan the water surface using echolocation.
He carried out the work in Panama in collaboration with people from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Salisbury. In regard to her defence there was a symposium entitled: "Metabolites and Stress in Plants". They combine forces to direct their expertise to the application of zebrafish models for human infectious disease research and high-throughput drug screening. They all conduct original research projects in the area of infectious disease research using the zebrafish as a model system. His research was focused on the plant disease crown gall, which is caused by the soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Also he convinced government to invest in biotechnology as a technology with many promises for society and served for many years as chairman of the national Program Committee for Biotechnology. Eddy van der Meijden for his achievements in his life-long research on plant defence in Senecio. Furthermore, the North Sea is used on a large scale for military purposes, fisheries, and the extraction of sand.
PhD-project ‘Underwater noise’: a project assessing and modelling underwater noise of various types on a wide geographic scale. Post-doctoral project ‘Impact on mammals’: ‘top-down’ project, relating the data on marine mammal distribution and exploitation of natural resources to the distribution of anthropogenic noise.
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Discover the possibilities and check out their sample class today!This class includes video and audio trainings. Her story reached second place and the jury commented that she told it with much passion and enthusiasm. The jury members commented on Marcia’s excellent use of analogies, her ability to engage with the audience and her passion for science.
Some species have evolved intriguing behavioural, physiological and morphological responses to survive and reproduce despite large differences in temperature and humidity between seasons.
It was discovered that ecdysteroids have different concentrations in pupae from different seasons. They found that DRAM1 cooperates with the selective autophagy receptor p62 and that it promotes the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes where mycobacteria are killed.


Michiel van der Vaart and coworkers published their recent findings in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. Mycobacteria are specialists in evading immune cell killing and use host immune cells as a niche in which they can proliferate and survive latently, until subsequent reactivation and spreading causing life-threatening disease.
These results show that in vivo manipulation of a host-signaling pathway aids the host in combatting mycobacterial infection, identifying hypoxic signaling as a potential target for future therapeutics against TB.
Increasing HIF-1? signalling or decreasing HIF-2? signalling increased nitric oxide (NO) levels in neutrophils prior to infection of zebrafish embryos with Mycobacterium marinum, used as a model for tuberculosis.
In 2011, he acquired an European Respiratory Society (ERS) Long Term Fellowship to move to Leiden for studying the role of HIF signalling in infection in the group of Dr.
Leiden and Sheffield Universities also work together in the European Training Network FishForPharma and Sheffield researcher Tomacz Prajsnar recently acquired a Marie Curie fellowship to move to Leiden for a collaborative project on Staphylococcus aureus infection. Frogs quickly stop calling when disturbed, but they cannot stop the ripples that fade out slowly on the water surface. He is currently writing on follow-up papers as a guest at the IBL and flies in two weeks back to Texas to continue his work on frogs.
Network-wide workshops and transfers between research teams in the network will give them excellent training opportunities and enhance their career prospects.
Rob and his team were among the pioneers discovering the molecular mechanism by which this bacterium provokes the disease and could show that this was by way of a unique form of genetic manipulation of the host (the plant) by the bacterium. Also he was very active in attracting biotechnology companies to settle in Leiden and was one of the founders of the Leiden Bioscience Park. He has always been a high-valued colleague and during his last years at the university he was the head of the Laboratory Service Department.
Maurijn received his award and flowers on the 9th of January at the new years reception of the Science Faculty and he will start as assistant professor on a tenure track position at the IBL on the 1st of February. The issue will be officially presented on the 14th of September by the Editor-in-Chief Prof.
Carel ten Cate from our Behavioural Biology research group with the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES - IJmuiden and Texel - which is part of Wageningen University), the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO – Delft and Den Haag), and the Sea Mammal Research Company (SEAMARCO – Goes). These human activities lead to an increase of unnatural underwater sound sources at places where the soundscape used to include natural sound sources only. In it you will discover: Exactly what students learn in their first weekHow to launch the career of your dreamsHow Health Coaches are changing the world First Name * Email * Phone Please select your country code by the flag dropdown. This time it was about underwater noise pollution caused by human activities that has potentially negative effects on aquatic animals. She will represent The Netherlands at the FameLab International final in the UK, competing against 27 other national winners from around the world. Furthermore,  when developing pupae destined to become dry-season adults are injected with these ecdysteroids, they instead become more wet-season–like adults. Pharmaceutical reprogramming of the immune system to kill intracellular mycobacteria would represent a therapeutic strategy, effective against currently untreatable strains and less susceptible to drug resistance. Several days later these embryos had a reduced bacterial burden compared with the control group.
The experimental study of Wouter and colleagues revealed that bats can indeed use the ripples as a guide to their prey as they attacked frog models more often when associated with ripples than without them. These findings gave birth to the fields of plant molecular biology and plant biotechnology. And do we really need it when we want to understand the complexity of organisms and their interactions?
The funding comes from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research under the Sea and Coastal Research programme (NWO-ZKO), the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (V&W), and the Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association (NOGEPA). Peter Klinkhamer received a STW grant for a project based on the use of metabolomics to study herbivore resistance.
In Leiden the binary vector system was developed that is still in use worldwide today as the preferred vector system for the genetic modification of plants. With the help of four invited researchers from the Netherlands and eight scientists of the IBL we want to shed some light on this fascinating but sometimes confusing concept. I understand that my consent is not required for enrollment and may be withdrawn.What is a Health Coach?A Health Coach is a mentor who works with clients to achieve their wellness goals. We will discuss recent applications as well as future directions: from gene regulation to cell signaling, from physiology to ecology. The health crisis is being discussed in magazine articles, on the news, and in reality shows like Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and The Biggest Loser. By addressing all the facets of health in addition to eating - relationships, exercise, career, and spirituality - Health Coaches help people become healthier and happier in all areas of their lives.Learn how health coaches are changing the worldPlay CloseVideo of What is a Health Coach?
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We started more than 20 years ago, and have continued to educate thousands of students on the vital importance of true nourishment.
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