The Kolk lab
Developmental Neurobiology

Dr. Sharon Kolk

Associate Professor Developmental Neurobiology

After my graduation in the field of Neuroendocrinology at the University of Utrecht I started my PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen. After graduation, I went to the US to do a postdoc at the Yale University Medical School, followed by a postdoc position at the Rudolf Magnus Brain Institute in Utrecht. In 2009, I started my lab at the Radboud University Nijmegen focusing on the molecular and cellular underpinnings of developing brain areas. Currently PI of several large collaboration grants such as the NWA-ORC ProMiSe, ITN Serotonin&BEYOND and BRAINCHAIN.

 Dr. Jasper Visser, MD

Neurologist and visiting researcher

I am a neurologist, specialized in movement disorders, and a medical biologist. I graduated in Biology and Medicine at Utrecht University and trained as a neurologist at RadboudUMC. At the same time, I did a PhD at Radboud university focusing on the role of certain brain regions (the 'basal ganglia') in the control of posture and balance. Later I joined the Kolk lab as a researcher studying brain development, particularly of dopamine neurons and their role in Lesch-Nyhan disease — a metabolic disorder with unique neurobehavioral features — in order to contribute to future treatment strategies. Bridging clinical neurology and neuroscience is a major objective in my work.

Jet Coenen-van der Spek, MD, MSc

PhD candidate

I obtained my bachelor's degree at University College Utrecht (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), where I followed the pre-medical track. Then I was accepted into the Selective Utrecht Medical Master (SUMMA) program, training me to become a medical doctor and a researcher. I moved to the Radboud University Medical Center to work as a resident (ANIOS) in Clinical Genetics, seeing patients with general genetic problems, including neurodevelopmental disorders. I became really interested in this patient group, which is why I joined the Kolk Lab for a PhD from October 2020. Here I study monogenetic neurodevelopmental disorders using several approaches, varying from clinical to organoid studies.

 Sara Sebastiani, MSc

PhD candidate

I graduated in the bachelor's course of Medical Biotechnology at the University of Milan and I have a master's degree in Medical Biotechnology and molecular medicine – curriculum Neuroscience (Faculty of Medicine, University of Milan). 

Later, I joined the Kolk Lab in October 2020, as a PhD candidate. Within the ProMiSe project, I study the pathogenic mechanism of neurodevelopmental disorders in which the prefrontal cortex is affected, by means of cortical brain organoids and animal models.


Marta Samina, MSc

PhD candidate

I received my bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Faculty of Science and Technology, New University of Lisbon. Later, in 2020, I obtained a master in Neurobiology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto. Back in September 2021, I joined the Kolk Lab as ESR7 for Serotonin&BEYOND. In my PhD project, I aim to causally delineate how lifelong increases and decreases in serotonin levels affect PFC microstructure, behavior, and cognition.

Jurjan Havelaar, MSc

PhD candidate

I graduated from the University of Wageningen with a bachelor's degree in Biology - specialization in human and animal health biology. After my bachelor's, I moved to Nijmegen where I obtained a master's degree in Medical Biology at the Radboud University. I first joined the Kolk lab during my master's as an intern and then as a PhD in 2021. My PhD project aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the neurodevelopmental disorder Lesch-Nyhan disease, with a special focus on the timing of pathogenic events.

Juliette Monquil, MSc 

Assistant teacher and research assistant

I obtained my bachelor's degree in Biology and master's in Medical Biology, with a specialization in (molecular) Developmental Biology, from Radboud University, Nijmegen. I joined the Kolk lab in October 2021 as an assistant teacher in Developmental (Neuro)Biology, additionally working as a coordinator for the ProMiSe ​​project. I am primarily involved in our bachelor courses - Medical Embryology and Neurodevelopment.

Jean Corbally, MSc

Research assistant

I obtained my bachelor's degree in Human Biology at the University College Dublin, with a specialization in neuroscience. After my bachelor's, I moved to Nijmegen where I obtained a master's degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Radboud University. I first joined the Kolk lab during my master's as an intern and recently as a Research Assistant as part of the ProMiSe consortium.

Daan Roelofs, BSc

Student assistant

I just obtained my bachelor’s degree in Molecular Life Sciences at Radboud University. I am currently enrolled in the Neurobiology’s master and helping the different research projects in the Kolk group.