News and Media

General news 


November - Laura participated in "NWO Insight Out | Connecting women in STEM" for three Thursdays in Nov.

November 2 - The Dutch FoxP1 meeting! Mireia and Annette present our work.

October 27 - Fly lab fun day, we went to the Burgers' Zoo!

October 9 - Marina attended the "Nationale Wetenschapscommunicatiedag", the Dutch National Science Communication day, by NWO/VSC in Eindhoven.

September 4 - We welcomed 3 new interns to the flygroup: Adam Lofowong, Beheshta Popal, and Hester Vogelaar!

August 21 - Melanie will stay with us as student assistant to recycle the plastic houses of our flies. From now on we will be saving over 800 (!) kg's of plastics every year. 💚 

August 1 - Eveline Francis started her internship with Marina. Welcome Eveline!

July 21-23 - Boyd virtualy joined the 8th International RASopathies Symposium

July 18-21 - Adela, Lara, Marina, and Boyd completed the Nijmegen 4 days marches!

June 22-23 - Isabel and Melanie presented posters about their internship projects at the Dutch Neuroscience Meeting 2023

June  1-2 -  Lara and Annette attended and presented work on Kleefstra syndrome at the Kleefstra Syndrome Scientific Conference 2023: “Moving towards the uptake and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in research and clinical work”) in Ljubljana, Slovenia! 

June - In the category non-Drosophila but still exciting news: the project that Marina worked on for her master's thesis got published in Science Advances: An AAV-CRISPR/Cas9 strategy for gene editing across divergent rodent species: Targeting neural oxytocin receptors as a proof of concept

May 26 & June 1 - Marina, with helping hands of Isabel and Boyd, taught about fruit fly research to several primary school classes! Pictures can be found here

March 31 - Lara attended the clinical-scientific meeting around epilepsies, sleep, and learning problems in children: Update@Kempenhaeghe

March 23 - At the 2023 Drosophila Research Conference, Mireia was announced to be finalist for the Larry Sandler Memorial Award which is given annually to honor an outstanding PhD dissertation in research using the fruit fly Drosophila.

March 22 - Laura gave a terrific talk about her work at the Fifth Dutch Neurodevelopment Disorders Day The others of the lab joined too!

February 1 - New semester, new students. Good luck with your internships Melanie, Isabel, and Renée!

January 12 - Paper alert! Laura Blok et al digged out the literature and explain everthing about: Genetics, molecular control and clinical relevance of habituation learning. Highly recommended read ; )

January 9 - The lab had a belated Sinterklaas, Christmas, and new year's  celebration, including sharing of presents and poems!


December 9 - Mireia gave a seminar at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne.

December 5-7 - Mireia went to Australia to give a talk at the Australian Neuroscience Society conference (ANS Conference - Australasian Neuroscience Society Inc). 

November - Jie Han (Stella) is our new PhD colleague, and Barbara Hulsen joined the team as our new student assistant. Welcome to both!

November 3 - The lab enjoyed a potluck dinner and Halloween party, with costumes and everything!

October 2 - More science enthusiasm at the Radboudumc open door day! Check out the pictures here.

October 1 - We shared our love for science and the fruit flies at the Donders open door day. An interesting first work day for our new technical assistant: Franziska Kampshoff! 

September 22 - Mireia did an awesome job defending her PhD thesis entitled “Characterizing and Targeting Sleep Disturbances in Neurodevelopmental Syndromes – insights from Drosophila”. Congratulations Dr. Coll-Tané!!

September 11-15 - Mireia joined the Copenhagen Bioscience Conference: Metabolism in Action and won the poster prize! 

September 6-9 - We had a great time at the European Drosophila Neurobiology meeting (Neurofly) in Saint-Malo, France. Annette gave a talk, Adela, Boyd, Lara, Laura, and Marina presented posters, and we all enjoyed amazing cider and sea food.

August 30 - The lab welcomes Ilona Grunwald Kadow visiting the lab as part of the NeurotechEU delegation from Bonn University. Far too little time for discussion, you'll need to come back Ilona!

August 29 - We welcome Kai Prins in the lab to do his MSc internship. Also, we warmly waved Marije goodby, our student-assistant that saved us so much time. Former intern Chiara will replace!

July 30-August  5 Jingyi (Adela) presented a poster at the 2022 Mechanisms of Epilepsy and Neuronal Synchronization Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and Seminar(GRS).

June - Marina, together with several colleagues of the Donders Institute, launched the BrainHelpDesk; a new website where anybody can send in their (basic) brain questions to get a science-based answer by an expert of the Donders, in easily understandable language! Do you have a brain-fruitfly-question? Don't hesitate to contact us directly! :)

June 16-17 - A large delegation of the lab were present at the Dutch Neuroscience Meeting in Tiel. Sanne and Ana presented a poster on their research projects.

June 1 - Boyd and Marina visited a primary school to teach the kids about Science and using fruitflies as a genetic model. A week before Boyd had also visited another school. For pictures go to the Gallery.

May 14-20 - Laura and Annette presented a poster and talk at the 2022 Fragile X and Autism-Related Disorders Conference GRC and 2022 Fragile X and Autism-Related Disorders (GRS) Seminar GRC.

May 15-17 - Marina and Boyd presented posters at the Cell Symposium on The Biology of Neuropsychiatric Disorders in Sitges, Spain.

May 11-14 - Annette virtually presented a talk on "Translational Studies into Sleep Disturbance in Neurodevelopmental Disorders – of Mechanisms and Treatment Strategies" at INSAR.

April 3 Mireia got selected for the 2022-2024 cohort of Early Career Leadership Program of the Genetics Society of America (GSA). She will serve in the Community and Membership Engagement Subcommittee. A huge honor! 

March 13-18 - Annette, Mireia, and Lara joined the Gordon's Sleep Conference where Mireia gave a super-received talk on "The CHD8/CHD7/Kismet Family Links Blood-Brain Barrier Glia and Serotonin to ASD-Associated Sleep Defects" 

March 17 - Marina and Boyd have presented their work during the annual Donders Poster session.

January 13 - New read from our lab is available from Preprints: "Genetics, Molecular Control and Clinical Relevance of Habituation Learning" (read here)


December 3 - We had an amazing (virtual) sinterklaas evening with the lab!

November 25 - On the network and education event of  the EAA (Erfelijke en Aangeboren Aandoeningen), Lara presented her sleep research as part of the theme "fenomenen in de nacht".

November 4 - Laura and Annette joined the annual meeting of  the CRE-NCD and GoLD consortia. Through this international and multidisciplinary network, our fruitfly models contribute to better understanding of genetic diagnoses. (read)

October 19 - Annette and collaborators Loes Segerink and Kerensa Broersen (UT) have been awarded a TURBO grant for their proposal "A Translational pipeline to better understand Blood-Brain Barrier defectsin Autism and beyond - from Drosophila to the BBB on-chip (TurBBBo)". YEEY!! (read)

October 12 - We welcome Marije to the lab crew! Marije will work with us as a student assistant, taking care of practical and organisational lab tasks. 

September 15 - After 1.5 years Corona-break, the team attended the Dutch-Belgian Drosophila meeting in Leuven. We were represented with several posters. Thank you for the interesting meeting!

August 31 - Human Riahi defended his PhD hesis entitled: "Transcriptional and physiological adaptation in response to environmental changes: G9a regulating stress tolerance depends on metabolic homeostasis". Congrats Doktor Riahi!

August 13 - After nearly 2 years Sabbatical, the lab says goodbye to Paul Lasko. Thank you Paul for your all your input. We hope to see you soon again! (read)

August 11 - Chiara Pignato joins our lab for her internship. She will learn as many awesome techniques from our Drosophila toolbox as possible. Welcome Chiara!

July - two news items in Spectrum are featuring our work on sleep disturbances in Autism spectrum disorders

June 4 - New study out in Science Advances entitled: "The CHD8/CHD7/Kismet family links blood-brain barrier glia and serotonin to ASD-associated sleep defects" (*Nederlands*)

May 25 - Kevin Lüthy is leaving the group. He will be starting up a new faculty at the university of Bielefeld, Germany. Good luck Kevin!

May 24 - New study out in BMC Biology entitled: "The epigenetic regulator G9a attenuates stress-induced resistance and metabolic transcriptional programs across different stressors and species".

May 3 - After winning the poster prize at the annual Donders poster session last winter, Boyd was invited for a quick talk about our work at an opening event of NeurotechEU

April 23 - Michaela Fenckova is leaving the group. She will be starting up her own research group at the university of České Budějovice. We wish you all the best Misha!

April 1 - Mireia gave a terrific talk about her sleep studies around CHD7/8 at the Annual Drosophila research conference

March 16 - Euginia Singgih brilliantly defended her doctoral studies entitled: "Biological insights into candidate genes for ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders: lessons learned from Drosophila".


November 1 - We welcome our new PhD-colleague Boyd van Reijmersdal!

October 1 - We welcome our new PhD-colleague Marina Boon!

September 21- Annette is appointed full professor! She will take the chair of Translational Genomics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

February 20 - Annette is awarded the prestigious Dutch personal grant 'VICI' to further investigate habituation learning as a translational readout in (genetic) neurodevelopmental disorders!

Media coverage and public outreach


Contribution to a popular science article about smaller animal models to study autism: What studying worms, flies and fish says about autism | Spectrum | Autism Research News ( 


Article in the Dutch Magazin ZeldSamen (network for rare genetic disorders), November 2020 Edition: Onderzoek naar Slaap by zeldsame syndromen, by Lara van Renssen, Annette Schenck, Tjitske Kleefstra

News items on Donders news and Radboudumc webpages on Vici grant, Professorship, awared membership of Academia Europaea (03/2020, 06/2020, 09/2020, 10/2020, 12/2020)

The 2018 contribution to klokhuis re-aired!


Article in the Dutch Magazin Analyse, December 2019 Edition: De fruitvlieg als model voor verstandelijke beperking en autisme spectrum stoornis – klein proefdier, groot nut, by Laura E.R. Blok, Irene Janssen, Annette Schenck 


Interview and editing of double page article about success of Drosophila as a model in the popular national newspaper Trouw 

Klokhuis, popular dutch children TV show, Special on ‘Disease research in fruitflies’: 


BBC documentary ‘ADHD and Me’ with Rory Bremner featuring our ADHD Drosophila models 


‘World of Drosophila models of brain disorders’ at the Donders open door day; numerous demos and presentations for the general public


Researchers in the class room’ at Wetenschapsknooppunt of Radboud University (WKRU), communicating science to children at basic schools

Klokhuis, popular dutch children TV show. ‘Where are all the fruit flies coming from?’:  (8’30’’-12’15’’)


Full page article about our research in the popular national newspaper NRC Handelsblad 

Extensive media coverage for PLoS Genetics article: interviews in national radio and television shows (Labyrint Radio 1, Studio Max Live), and articles in international magazines and numerous webpages.

Dutch television show "Klokhuis" visited our lab in 2015 and 2018