I have a background in bio-pharmaceutical sciences and neuroscience and I am currently working on the development of new in vitro models for the human brain and the blood-brain barrier. The prevalence of neurological disorders is increasing and although our knowledge of the central nervous system has grown tremendously in the last decades, many disorders still go untreated. The development of better, more relevant in vitro models of the human brain and blood-brain barrier can help us understand the mechanisms underlying neurological diseases and make it easier to assess the effects of new drug candidates. Using a microfluidic tissue culture platform called the OrganoPlate®, I mimic the neurovascular unit “on-a-chip”. Cultures of human neurons, astrocytes, and endothelial cells are grown and characterized through various assays that assess the barrier function and transporter function of the endothelium and the neurophysiological activity of the neurons. Moreover, we use these cultures to assess disease processes and drug delivery into the brain.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences from Leiden University in 2013. After that, I moved to Amsterdam where I followed the Neuroscience master’s program at the VU University. I did my first master’s internship at the Child Neurology department of the VU medical center, studying activation of the unfolded protein response in a mouse model of vanishing white matter disorder. During the second master’s internship I worked on the development of a novel in vitro model for the central nervous system in a microfluidic platform at MIMETAS, a biotech company in Leiden. Since I finished the internship and obtained my master’s degree in 2015, I have been employed at MIMETAS as a scientist. In addition to working on commercial projects, I am also a working on European grant projects CoSTREAM and ADAPTED, which study the link between stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, and apolipoprotein A and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively. For these PhD projects, I am affiliated with the group of Dr. S. Michel at the Leiden University Medical Center.
A perfused human blood-brain barrier on-a-chip for high-throughput assessment of barrier function and antibody transport.
Wevers et al.
High-throughput compound evaluation on 3D networks of neurons and glia in a microfluidic platform.
Wevers et al.
2016. Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep38856
Morphogens and blood-brain barrier function in health and disease.
Wevers & de Vries.
2016. Tissue Barriers. doi: 10.1080/21688370.2015.1090524