Esmee van Leeuwen
Phone: +31 (0)53 489 1116
My name is Esmee van Leeuwen and I was born in Arnhem, the Netherlands. As a child, I already found out that I was fascinated by the human body and while growing up, I also gained great interests in exact courses. As so, I decided to start my Bachelor of Science in Medical Natural Sciences at the VU in Amsterdam. During my final year I took the minor biomolecular and neurosciences (track neurosciences), through which I discovered my passion for neuroscience. After graduating this year, I decided to take a gap year in which I’m going to travel to New-Zealand and Australia. Besides traveling, I also wanted to use this year to keep on learning, exploring and get more experienced in the field of neuroscience. The Clinical Neurophysiology group offered me the opportunity to do so, for which I’m very thankful.
The culture of cortical neurons in vitro is widely employed for the study of cellular responses to injuries such as a brain infarct. However, standard neuronal culture methods employ a non-physiological oxygen level, which is four times higher than the oxygen level in the mammalian cortex. It is unclear how the ambient oxygen pressure under in vitro conditions relates to physiological oxygen level in vivo. We aim to determine whether cortical neurons cultured at a physiological oxygen level will develop into functional networks.