Corette Wierenga

CoretteWierenga UU

Dr. Corette Wierenga

  • developmental disorders
  • structure and connections
+31 30 253 2659


Corette Wierenga studied physics at the VU in Amsterdam (1996), followed by a PhD (2002) in neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam with Prof. Dr. Wytse Wadman. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Dr. Gina Turrigiano at Brandeis University (2002-2006), and at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in the department of Prof. Dr. Tobias Bonhoeffer (2006-2011). In October 2011 she returned to the Netherlands and she is now an Assistant Professor at the Cell Biology Division at Utrecht University. In 2012 she received a ZonMW-VIDI grant.

My research focuses on understanding how new connections between nerve cells are formed and how these connections can be changed in the developing and adult brain. In particular, we study the activity-dependent formation and plasticity of inhibitory synapses in dendrites, with a special interest in interactions with nearby excitatory synapses. This research is aimed to solve outstanding fundamental questions in neuroscience as well as to provide important new insight in neurodevelopmental disorders.

We are using a combination of two-photon microscopy, electrophysiology, molecular and optical tools to study underlying molecular mechanisms.

Research line and group

Research line
Number of PhD students
Number of postdocs

Personal fellowships and awards

  • Youth & Identity Seed money (2013)
  • NWO VIDI grant (2012)
  • Marie-Curie European Reintegration Grant (2010)
  • UNESCO-L'Oréal award ‘For Women in Science’ Germany (2008)

Most recent key publications

  • Frias CP, Wierenga CJ (2013) Activity-dependent adaptations in inhibitory axons. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 7: 219.
  • Schuemann A, Klawiter A, Bonhoeffer T, Wierenga CJ (2013) Structural plasticity of GABAergic axons is regulated by network activity and GABAA receptor activation. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 7: 113.
  • Keck T, Scheuss V, Jacobsen I, Wierenga CJ, Eysel U, Bonhoeffer T, Hübener M (2011) Loss of sensory input causes rapid structural changes of inhibitory neurons in adult mouse visual cortex. Neuron 71: 869-882.
  • Wierenga CJ, Becker N, Bonhoeffer T (2008) GABAergic synapses are formed without the involvement of dendritic protrusions. Nature Neurosci, 11: 1044-1052.
  • Wierenga CJ, Ibata K, Turrigiano GG (2005) Postsynaptic expression of homeostatic plasticity at neocortical synapses. J Neurosci 25: 2895-2905.