|2016-present||PhD Candidate||VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, NL|
|2013-2016||Master of Science in Neuroscience & Cognition||University of Utrecht, NL|
|2010-2013||Bachelor of Science in (Neuro)Psychology||University Utrecht, NL|
Vanishing White Matter (VWM) is a rare genetic disease of the white matter that causes progressive motor defects and neurological deterioration, and results in a premature death in children. VWM is caused by a mutation in any of the genes encoding for the five subunits of eIF2B, a protein important in the initiation of translation of mRNA into protein. Although eIF2B is a ‘household gene’ essential for proper functioning of all cells, exclusively macroglial cells such as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes are affected in the brain. Presently, no curative therapy is available; treatment is supportive only. My PhD project therefore aims to develop a gene therapy for VWM patients in which the eIF2B mutation is corrected by means of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.