Frank Jacobs lab                                                                                                               

University of Amsterdam                                                                                                                   


March, 9, 2020

Today we receive Emma Partiot, a Phd. student from the IRIM. Emma will join us for 10 days as a trainee on how to culture and maintain cortical organoids. " I've heard that she really enjoyed the stay and she learned lot’s of things due to a perfect training with really nice people."

February 10, 2020

Paper published in The Royal Society - Journal: Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B - Biological Sciences

An interesting study into the role of KRAB zinc finger (KZNF) in the regulation of gene expression in the human brain. Using KZNF binding site data together with gene expression values from the Allen Brain Atlas, we uncover the regulatory capability and influence of KZNFs in the developing human brain and their integration into neural gene regulatory networks.

September 27, 2019

Paper published in Nature Communications

An interested study on Zika virus’s (ZIKV) invasion of the central nervous system. In collaboration with the Institut de Recherche en Infectiologie de Montpellier (IRIM), Judith Roels prepared and provided the cerebral organoids for this study. Cerebral organoids were used in ex vivo experiments to determined the higher potential of ZIKV-associated monocytes to infect cerebral cells compared with cell free virus.

This type of colaboration between institutes and scientific fields proves once again how important is to share scientific methods and ideas. Also it remarks the importance of using organoid technology that resemble organ phisiology.


June 24, 2019

We are pleased to welcome Robert (Bob) Kuhn to our lab. Robert came over to our lab to give a two day workshop on the UCSC Genome Browser  We got a lot of valuable new knowledge on this great tool, and Bob taught us some very useful tips and tricks. Thanks again Bob!

January 10, 2019

Paper published in Cell Reports

An interesting work on structurally conserved primate long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in collaboration with the University of California. In this article, transcriptomes were sequenced from cerebral cortex organoids generated from human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus pluripotent stem cells at weekly time points for comparative analysis. To this end, transcript structure and expression conservation were used to discover gene regulatory lncRNAs in different species. A great work on comparative genetics!

July 24, 2018

Paper published in Cell Reports

An interesting study into the function of the gene CHMP1A  from Chris Walsh' lab at Harvard Medical School for which we grew and characterized CHMP1A-mutant human cortical organoids,  showing the efficiency of using organoids in combination with CRISPR/Cas9 technologies to recapitulate human developmental diseases.

Congrats Gerrald with your shared first authorship!!

June 1, 2018

Nieuwsuur coverage of the NOTCH2NL story

Watch the clip from our Nieuwsuur coverage  on June 1.

May 31, 2018

Paper on NOTCH2NL published in Cell

7 years of work... 7 years of exciting discoveries. So proud of the whole team that we finally got this extemely exciting story published!

Coverage of the NOTCH2NL story in 'The Atlantic'

Great article in the Atlantic. Written by Ed Yong

April 18, 2018

Diana's lncRNA paper published in 'non-coding RNA' !

Contratulations to Diana on her first-author paper; Very well deserved and it's a great story! The link is right here:

March 29, 2018

Celebrating our Cell paper..

Tequila shots from 15 ml tubes... that's what scientists do...

March 21, 2018

NOTCH2NL story accepted in 'Cell' !!

Our NOTCH2NL story got accepted for publication in 'Cell' !! So great to soon be having this extremely exciting story out! The hard work and perseverance finally paid off! Hope our cover-proposal (left) will be selected by the style-editors..

Feb 11-15, 2018

Keystone meeting on transposable elements

We went to the Keystone Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, US and had an inspirational time listening to so many exciting transposable element stories.

January 8, 2018

Welcoming our 6 new MSc and 1 BSc students!

Welcome to MSc students Lara Janssen, Sophie Imhof, Tiziana Hey, Fred White, Iraklis Vretzakis, Ana Almeida and BSc student Paula Raventos. Go do some great things!

Nov 1, 2017

Welcome to our new PhD students! Diana Pereira Fernandes and Grace Farmiloe

Diana was a MSc student from Portugal who did an internship in our lab in 2016 and is now joining for another 4 years for her PhD. We are all very glad to finally have Diana back in our group! Diana will work on transposable element-derived transcripts and how these  may form an important source for evolutionary innovation of gene-regulatory networks in the primate and human brain.  All very cool and exciting stuff!!

Grace comes from a Masters at the Imperial College London in the UK and she is our secret weapon; Having a slightly different academic background  than most of us, she will be changing our views of genomic evolution, by elucidating how one event, such as a transposable element invasion can have a long lasting impact on multiple levels of genome regulation.  Very very exciting...

Sept 10, 2017

Karline Janmaat and Frank Jacobs discuss primate evolution on Swammerdam Radio

What is chimpanzee behavior telling us about primate evolution, and how can we study the impact of genomic evolution on the increase of brain size as one of the hallmarks of human evolution? It's part of a fascinating discussion on Swammerdam Radio this Sunday. For those who were still sleeping.... stream the whole interview here:

Sept 1, 2017

Welcome to Alfredo Huaman (from Peru) and Rita Guimaraes (from Portugal) to our lab!

Alfredo has joined for a three month internship.

Rita joins for a 10 month internship. Best of luck to both of you, hope you will make some cool discoveries!

July 6, 2017

Jacobs Lab Canoeing trip: Ambushes, wild chicken, seaweed and a gypsy wagon

As a special 'thank you' event to thank our 2017-batch of MSc and BSc students for all the great science they have been doing in the last year! And no heavy rain, sea-weed, wild chicken, russian gypsy or a nasty (but probably well-deserved) ambush could prevent us from having a good time.

June 9, 2017

Molecular Neuroscience Sailing trip 2017

For this year's MNS retreat we left our safe spots in the lab and offices to step aboard of 'The Inspiration', a big sailing ship, to cross the relentless Wadden-sea and set sail to Texel for a BBQ, and other things you can do on an island.

Feb 1, 2017

Welcoming Elias as our new PhD student!

Elias Brandorff comes from the University of Utrecht and he brings with him a lot of enthusiasm and motivation to help us unravel the mechanism of how transposable elements in our genome can influence gene expression. Good luck Elias and I hope you will do some awesome research!

Jan 3, 2017

Welcome to our new Master's and Bachelor's students!

From left to right: Paula, Lotte, Hedwig, Whitney, Anne-Fleur, Stijn, Judith and Josse. We hope all of you will have a good hunt for some of these primate transposable elements! 

Oct 3, 2016

1st prize for Gerrald Lodewijk's poster on Amsterdam Neuroscience Kick-off meeting

Congratulations Gerrald for winning this award! We are all very very proud!

Oct 1, 2016

Welcoming Elise as our new PhD student!

Elise van Bree did some great work during her Master's internship in our lab earlier this year and she is now joining for her PhD. Welcome Elise, and good luck figuring out how million years of invasions by these nasty transposable elements in our genome have actually helped shaping the gene expression networks in the human brain!

Sept 4, 2016

Welcoming Irene to the lab

Welcome Irene Merens Vazquez, our second ERASMUS-program Bachelor student from Spain!

Sept 1, 2016

Frank was awarded an ERC starting grant worth 1.5 million Euros!

The ERC Starting Grant is a personal grant of 1.5 million Euros awarded by the European  Research Council to starting group leaders after a rigorous  international competition.  This award  will enable our lab to recruit a number of new researchers who will join us in our ambitious efforts to map the retrotransposon-mediated layer of neuronal gene expression in the human genome. Let's get these experiments going!

July 2, 2016

Heavy wind, big waves and BBQ steaks on the MNS annual retreat 2016

This year's annual Molecular Neuroscience retreat was a sailing trip on a big ship on the Dutch Waddensea. For two days, a group of 25 researchers exchanged their pipets, computers and vending-machine coffee to be exposed to salt, flapping sails, a yelling captain and 50 kilograms of BBQ meat.

June 30, 2016

1st prize for Nina Haring's poster on SILS research day 2016

Congratulations Nina! 4 Jacobs Lab posters in total this year. Thanks all for helping us raise 'retrotransposon' awareness!

June 10, 2016

2nd prize for Elise van Bree's poster on MNS mini-symposium

Congratulations Elise!

May 26, 2016

Jacobs Lab's 'Monkey chasers' go wild at FNWI Beach Volleyball Tournament

We came, we saw, we ate sand. Unfortunately our team-song, the 'Bird Dance', a song picked by Nina,  did not give us the advantage we hoped for...

May 6, 2016

Meeting the Island people: The 2016 Jacobs Lab camping trip/ field expedition

This year's Jacobs Lab camping trip took us to Terschelling, one of Hollands finest islands, and brought us in contact with its indigenous inhabitants who almost donated 20 Euros for our research, but ended up giving us 4 lighters instead.. We were so close..

March 18, 2016

Frank receives the HFSP Career Development Award

The Human Frontier Science Program ( has awarded Frank the 2016 HFSP Career Develoment Award for the project "Retrotransposons in control of human gene-regulatory networks" ! The award is 300,000 USD for a period of 3 years, which will be spent on research that will allow us to investigate how invasions of transposable elements throughout primate genome evolution, have shaped human neuronal gene regulatory networks. 

Februari 1, 2016

Welcoming Cristina to the lab

Welcome Cristina Delgado Sallent from Spain, an ERASMUS-program bachelor student we managed to save from the hot and relentless Spanish sun... 

Januari 17, 2016

Welcoming Elise to the lab

Elise van Bree has joined our lab for a 6 month internship where she will map the dynamic epigenetic signature of transposable elements during human cortical development.  Finally we will get some ChIP done again! Welcome Elise!

Januari 4, 2016

Welcoming Diana and Miranda to the lab

Diana Pereira Fernandes from Portugal and Miranda van Wonterghem from Denmark have joined the Jacobs lab! Diana is a MSc student who will do an internship on the role of LTR-derived transcription on nearby gene expression.

Miranda is a postdoc who will investigate the dynamics of methylation of transposable elements during cortical neuron development. Welcome to Holland/Amsterdam and we promise the weather will be much better soon....