Dr E. Aronica (1965) has been named Professor by Special Appointment of the Pathology of the Nervous System, focusing on epileptic conditions at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Science (FNWI). The chair was designated on behalf of the 'Nationaal Epilepsie Fonds' (National Epilepsy Foundation).
Eleonora Aronica has both a clinical and fundamental scientific background. She is actively involved in various research areas including neuro-oncology, neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy. Her research focuses on the origins of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) and the causes of pharmacoresistance in brain conditions associated with epilepsy. Working with the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS), she is researching how molecular infection can alter the communication between glia cells and neurones, and how this can contribute to the genesis of epileptic incidents and the emergence of neuronal damage. Her research group is currently researching the mechanisms involved with chronic infections associated with epilepsy. Another of her research areas focuses on the mechanisms of early onset and progressive neurodegeneration associated with epilepsy.
As professor by special appointment, Aronica will primarily focus on creating links between fundamental research and medical practice to bring significant new momentum into researching the causes of epilepsy. She will also be teaching, mainly in the area of the pathology of the nervous system.
Aronica is one of only a handful of neuropathologists in the Netherlands. She earned her doctorate with distinction at the UvA in 1993. She then spent several years carrying out research at the New York State Department of Health in Albany and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. She joined the Academic Medical Center (AMC-UvA) in 1998, where she has worked as a neuropathologist since 2007. Aronica has received research grants from the Health Programme of the European Union, the Kinderen Kankervrij (KiKa) paediatric cancer foundation, and the National Epilepsy Foundation (Stichting Nationaal Epilepsie Fonds). She is actively involved with the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) within the Neuropathology Task Force. In 2011 she was awarded the Michael Prize, an international prize handed out every two years for the best contribution to epilepsy research. Aronica's work has also been published in a variety of scientific journals, including Epilepsia, Brain Pathology, Glia, Journal of Neuroscience, PNAS and Brain.