Nicki Covena

PhD student
Team Member

Short CV

2022 - presentPhD candidateVrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC
2019 - 2022 MSc. Biomedical Sciences - Molecular NeuroscienceUniversity of Amsterdam
2015 - 2019 BSc. PsychobiologyUniversity of Amsterdam


X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a hereditary metabolic disorder affecting the CNS white matter. ALD is caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene, which leads to accumulation of very long-chain fatty acids and eventually loss of myelin. In recent years, studies have indicated that microglia have an early pathophysiologic role in ALD. However, currently established iPSC-derived organoid models do not inherently develop microglia. Therefore, the aim of my PhD project is to develop an ALD organoid model that contains microglia to elucidate the role of microglia in ALD disease pathology and to better understand the therapeutic potential of microglia derived from hematopoietic stem cells for the treatment of ALD.

Highlighted publications


Contact info


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR)
Department of Complex Trait Genetics
W&N building, G3
De Boelelaan 1085
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands