Aleksandra Badura is an Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience, Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She obtained her M.Sc. in Psychology from the Jagiellonian University, Poland, followed by a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, where she studied the impact of afferent inputs on cerebellar activity and motor coordination. In 2012 she moved to Princeton University, USA, to join the laboratory of Prof. Sam Wang as a postdoctoral fellow. There, using intravital two-photon imaging, she discovered that granule cells acquire signals predictive of motor performance. This marked a paradigm shift in the understanding of cerebellar coding. Furthermore, she has developed tools for monitoring neuronal activity that advance two-photon imaging. In 2014 she received a VENI-ZonMw postdoctoral grant and in 2015 she moved to the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, while remaining a Visiting Research Collaborator at Princeton Neuroscience Institute. She focused her research on the role of the cerebellum in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She showed that cerebellar deficits are common in ASD and that disruption of the cerebellar activity during development results in abnormal cognitive and social behaviors. In June 2018 she was awarded a VIDI-ZonMw starting grant to work on understanding the cerebello-cerebral networks underlying shared autistic traits.
The research in her laboratory is aimed at understanding how brain activity translates into behaviors that adapt to ever-changing environments and how this mechanism is disrupted in ASD. To that end she employs a wide range of techniques, from behavioral assays through electrophysiology and brain imaging. In recent years, her laboratory has developed collaborations with immunologists to study the causal role of primary immunodeficiency on increased ASD risk. Her recent work has shown that mutations in PI3Kδ, causing a primary immunodeficiency syndrome APDS, lead to sensorimotor deficits.