Personal profile


I became fascinated with Neuroscience during my diploma and PhD studies at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen and Tübingen in Germany, where I was starting to work on clostridial toxins, which block neurotransmitter release. After my postdoc years at the National Institute Mental Health at the NIH in Bethesda, MD, USA I returned to Germany working for several years at the University of Stuttgart. Here I became fascinated by the interaction of the immune system with the nervous system and how important it is in such diverse disorders as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. I was happy to be able since 2003 to continue this work at the University of Groningen, where I could gain knowledge also in behavioral biology which helped to better investigate disease models for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Depression and Multiple Sclerosis. We all know that the risk of getting any of those diseases increases with ageing or aggravates with aging. Many, also peripheral, factors seem undoubtedly play an important role and quite often they come down to inflammatory reactions. With the Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha and its two receptors, TNFR1 and TNFR2, I investigate a so-called master cytokine, which has a strong effect on all downstream inflammatory responses. Although I am passionate about basic science, we are actively looking for pathways to improve cognition and ways to translate our knowledge into therapies.



Course coordinator

  • Neuroscience Research (3rd year bachelor, 10 ECT research course)
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases (1st year master Biomedical Research, 5 ECT)
  • Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (1st year BCN research master N-Track, 5 ECT)

Course lecturer

  • Neurobiology
  • Neurobiology of Aging
  • Genes and Behaviour
  • Healthy Aging Summer School
  • Honours college
  • BCN Managment training

Member of program committees

  • Biomedical Sciences/Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences ('til September 2018)
  • BCN (chair until 2022)

Member of exam comittee

  • Biomedical Sciences/Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (since 2017)
  • Biology


Bachelor and master projects and essays, colloquia

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Scientific Advisory Board member, Samenwerkingsverband BRAINS

2022 → …

Science Advisory Board member, Fellowship Program Committee, Alzheimer Nederland


Science Advisory Board member, Internationale Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek (ISAO)



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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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