Science for Progress

because science is fundamental in the 21st century

SfPRocur Curator November 06 – 11: SfN neuroscience with Susan Leemburg – @SusanLeemburg

Dr. Susan Leemburg is a neuroscientist from the Netherlands who lives in Switzerland. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Zurich, she is currently looking for a new position in academic research.

Susan is a volunteer with Science for Progress, and she has her own project Highlighter to showcase women in STEM in Switzerland. She also is passionate about informing people about animal experiments, and about do-it-yourself techniques in science research.

During her curation, Susan will be tweeting from San Diego, where she is visiting “Neuroscience”, the annual conference of the “Society for Neuroscience” (SfN) – the biggest neuroscience conference in the world, with over 30 000 attendees. She will tell us which topics got her excited at the conference. Other topics will be women in science, and animal experiments. And finally she wants to talk about DIY science/citizen science and how it’s not only just fun, but can be used to make the world better as well.


Susan grew up in the Netherlands with a little brother and two biologist parents. This had two main consequences: firstly, she can spot the rare plants before her dad does. Secondly, she was sure she’d never wanted to be a biologist. ‘That bit didn’t really work out…’

Instead she did indeed study biology in Groningen (NL), and specialized in medical biology. In her first year, she was certain she wanted to study HIV or malaria as a microbiologist. As it turns out, she doesn’t like molecular biology very much. Instead she became interested in neuroscience, specifically sleep research, in her 4th year. So, after graduation, she moved to Switzerland and did her PhD at ETH Zurich on how sleep and motor function are affected after stroke. Then she ‘stumbled’ into a post-doc position in a different lab in Zurich, where she worked on the role of dopamine in motor learning and automated methods of measuring stroke recovery in rats. Now, she is looking for the next adventure!

about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.