MHeNs is one of six graduate schools of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) within the Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (MUMC+). The School’s research programme focuses on understanding brain-behaviour relationships by adopting an integrated approach among the various disciplines in Neuroscience, Behavioural Science, Medicine and Life Sciences.
MHeNs has organised its research into three research divisions: (1) Cognitive Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience, (2) Mental Health, and (3) Neuroscience.
- Division 1: ‘Cognitive Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience’, focuses on late life event problems and ageing. Research of Division 1 is related to neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders studied in clinical cohorts (e.g. patients with Alzheimer’s disease and stroke) and in cohorts of healthy ageing subjects, focussing on cognitive functioning.
- Division 2: ‘Mental Health’, has an emphasis on gene-environment interactions in neuropsychiatric disorders. The work in Division 2 is broadly focused on person-environment interactions underlying the aetiology, treatment and outcomes of mental disorders, and on translating the results of research to the design and organisation of mental health services. In order to increase relevance and impact, the division has created strong links and collaborations with stakeholders, particularly users of services, at all levels.
- Division 3: ‘Translational Neuroscience’, is broadly focussed on translational and mechanistic studies on the neurobiological underpinnings of mental, neurological and somatic health and illness. Our ‘translational’ focus encompasses both ‘translation’ of basic neuroscience research finding towards preclinical and clinical neuroscience studies, and ‘back-translation‘ of clinical neuroscience observations to fundamental mechanisms.
The basic infrastructure of MHeNs encompasses 12 FHML departments, six of which are core departments to MHeNs. These departments have merged their research efforts into three divisions (see organisation chart of MHeNs). The research infrastructure as well as the common research themes cut across the Divisions and, thereby, forge extensive links between the clinical and fundamental neurosciences.
MHeNs is the coordinator of the European Graduate School of Neuroscience (EURON), a research and training network of 8 universities in Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.