Research Statement


Studies in the Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMS) are specifically focused on understanding basic functions and processes of the cell & systems and how they lead to diseases if disturbed. We strive for identification and, if possible, exploitation of targets to prevent or cure disease, and to promote Healthy Aging.

The primary goal is developing new mechanistic insights at the cell and tissue level. Such should be achieved through the acquisition of external financed grants and naturally lead to publications in respected peer-review scientific journals. The view is that a multi-disciplinary and coherent approach with an appropriate focus is key to successful discoveries, (inter)national visibility and fundraising.

The second goal is delivering excellent education related to the fundamental aspects of biology as the basis for medical research and care. The department has a major task in the biomedical undergraduate and postgraduate programs (life science, medicine, dentistry, human movement science) but also in the post-academic training of clinical residents and scientists.

Facilities like the Anatomy dissection room and the physiology lab are expertise centers for education and research for the UMCG and RUG. These facilities are platforms to exchange knowledge with clinical researchers resulting in productive collaborations towards translations of new insights and discoveries in clinical practice. For this, there is a structural embedding of the basic research of the Department of Radiotherapy within the department and the Department is eager to provide a platform for researchers in other Clinical Disciplines.

The Department aims to be and become an excellent research and education center, internationally renowned for its cutting-edge basic science, its teaching excellence, and its top-class facilities. The development of novel tools and technology and new education strategies, required to become this excellent center for educations and research, is a strategic focus.



The mission of the Department of the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) is to contribute significant advancements to, and to develop and provide innovative and high-level teaching of, the fundamentals of functional and dysfunctional human biology at the molecular, cellular and systems level.
This ‘vertical’ nature of our research lines enables human disease to be studied in an integrated way that is internationally at the forefront.
Likewise, we not only aim to teach concepts and mechanisms concerning the entire human body at all levels of analysis but also aim to drive educationalist research to improve and innovate biomedical teaching.



Anatomy conducts functional neuroanatomy research by managing a state-of-the-art dissection room and optimizes teaching methods by developing digital applications to enhance  to enhance the teaching efficiency of anatomy classrooms and dissection rooms.

Molecular cell biology studies how cells and tissues maintain their function, and what can cause their dysfunction. Fundamental knowledge about cell biological processes is key to understand how genetics or environment affect human health or lead to disease.

Molecular Neurobiology addresses neurodegenerative diseases, brain ageing, and epigenetic regulation of neuroimmune processes by testing hypotheses in human tissues, animal systems and cell cultures.



The department provides state-of-the-art scientific and medical training on the interrelated topics of physiology, anatomy, neurophysiology, neuroimmunology, cognition and neuroimaging. Target audiences include medical dentistry students, life sciences and human movement sciences students, research masters and PhD students. On a regular basis, research projects for master students are provided.

The Section of Anatomy & Medical Physiology operates the human dissection rooms as a general facility. The department has several prize-winning teachers and is continuously improving its teaching methods; the department has recently developed an application for tablets and smartphones to improve anatomy education.

Overall, more than 2,500 students participate in training provided by the department. Members of the department are active in focused outreach programmes for patients, high school students and general public.]]


Members of the department closely work together with several clinical and research departments within the UMCG and operate in local, national and international networks, such as academic groups, life science and networks with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and larger companies.

To realize our aim, the Department of the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) participates in the local and international ageing brain network and contributes to the Ageing Brain/U4 international PhD network and Horizon 2020/InnoLife activities. In addition, the department is a prominent member of the MS Centre North Netherlands and contributes to local activities. The department is also an active member of the Research Institutes BCN BRAIN and BCN, and actively supports public events organized by both institutes.]]

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