Rory Pijnenburg

PhD student
Team Member

Short CV

• 2021 - present Clinical research associate at PRA Health Sciences
• 2018 - present PhD Candidate VU University, Amsterdam
• 2017 - 2018 Research Assistant University Medical Center Utrecht
• 2016 Research Trainee Max Planck Institute, Cologne
• 2014 - 2016 MSc Biomedical Sciences - Neuroscience Antwerp University
• 2012 - 2015 BSc Biomedical Sciences Maastricht University


The brain consists of many spatially separate and functionally specialized regions which are interconnected to form the brain network. There are different levels on which one can explore this vastly complex, organ and its organization. Regional variation on the microscale has been observed in e.g. gene expression, cytoarchitecture and myelination. Whereas regional dissimilarities on the macroscale level have been observed in e.g. structural and functional connections, network topology and global network efficiency. Naturally, neuroscientists specialize into one specific scientific niche to study the brain, leaving a gap between different fields of research. The aim of my PhD project is to bridge this gap by investigating the interaction of micro- and macro scale properties. We hope to gain fundamental insight on how regional microscale characteristics are related to measures of macroscale connectivity.

Highlighted publications

R Pijnenburg, LH Scholtens, …, MP van den Heuvel - Biological characteristics of connection-wise resting-state functional connectivity strength. 2019. Cerebral Cortex

• MP van den Heuvel, LH Scholtens, SC de Lange, R Pijnenburg et al. - Evolutionary developed connections compromised in schizophrenia. 2019 BRAIN

• F Collmann, R Pijnenburg, …, M Hoehn - Individual in-vivo profiles of microglia polarization after stroke, represented by the genes iNOS and Ym1. 2019. Frontiers in Immunology

• F Collmann, R Pijnenburg, …, M Hoehn - Imaging reporter strategy to monitor gene activation of microglia polarisation states under stimulation. 2018. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology

Contact info


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


+31 20 598 25 58