Swaab: CV


Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae for Dick F. Swaab


Name:               Dick Frans Swaab

Date of birth:      17-12-1944

Education:         1963 Final examination ‘Amsterdams Lyceum’

                        1968 MD (Medicine, University of Amsterdam)

                        1970 Ph.D. Thesis: Factors influencing neurosecretory activity of the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei in rat. A histochemical and cytochemical study. Mentor: Prof. dr. J. Ariëns Kappers.

                        1972: general physician



Professional career


1975     - 1978   Acting director of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

1978     - 2005   Director of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research

1979     - now    Professor of Neurobiology at the Medical Faculty, University of Amsterdam.

1985                 Founder and, until 2005, Director of the Netherlands Brain Bank

1978     - now    Leader Research team Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Neth. Inst for Neuroscience.



Editorial activities (selected)


Neurobiology of Aging, Progress in Brain Research, Brain Research Series (Elsevier), series Editor of the 3rd new series of the Handbook of Clinical Neurology (> 30 volumes planned), Elsevier, Editorial board of Encyclopedic Reference of Neuroscience (Field editor of Neuroendocrinology), Springer



Awards and Honors


1976     -   'Snoo-van 't Hoogerhuijs' prize (together with Dr. W.J. Honnebier) for work in the field of fetal neuroendocrinology.

1987     -   Holst lecture', T.U. Eindhoven and N.V. Philips 'De klok in onze hersenen', December 12.

1990     -   'Hugo van Poelgeest' prize for the Netherlands Brain Bank as an alternative for animal experiments, June 26.

-   Journal of Neural Transmission (36, 195-215, 1975) paper awarded "Citation Classic" status in Current Contents 33, no. 30, p. 16.

1995     -   Nature paper on transsexuality discussed in Nature 378, 15-16, 1995, "Another important organ". Selected by Discover for the top 100 science stories of 1995.

1996     -   Emil Kraepelin Guest Professorship 1996, Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Munich, Germany.

1998     -   Royal Honour, “Companion in the Order of the Dutch Lion” bestowed by her Royal Highness Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

1998/now  Guest Professor of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, PR China.

1999/now  Guest Professor of Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing, P.R. China.

2000     -   10th David de Wied lecture “Alzheimer research, the beginning of a better end” (in Dutch) at the Educatorium, University of Utrecht, 14 April 2000.

            -   Gynaecongres lecture 2000, "The clever but vulnerable head of the unborn child" Millennium Gynaecongres, May 23 and 26, 2000, Beatrixtheater, Jaarbeurs, Utrecht

-   Federa Prize 2000, Federation of Medical Scientific Societies, November 17, 2000, RAI, Amsterdam, for scientific work in biomedical determinants of Alzheimer’s disease

2002     -   GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) award 2002 for the article ‘Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus.’ (Kruijver et al., J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metabol. 2034-2041

            -   Alzheimer’s Association Award: Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research. Received at the 8th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in Stockholm, Sweden, 21 July

2003     -   School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences New Year’s Lecture 2003. Exploring   the brain: a search for our selves

            -   Honorary member of the installation committee of the journal on Gender Identity Disorders, the GID Journal

2004    -    The Brain Foundation Lecture “Sexual Differentiation of the Human Brain”. June1, Doorwerth,the Netherlands.

2005/6  -   Visiting Professorship in Sleep Medicine (Amer.Ass.of Sleep Med.& Pfizer) at Stanford, CA, USA.

            -   Guest Professor at the Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine from 1 October 2005 to 31 December 2008.

2007     -   Guest Professor at Zhejiang University, Hang Zhou, PR China.

2008     -   Academy medal for his role in national and international neuroscience (fundamental to applied), for his initiative to start the Netherlands Brain Bank, and for his research in Alzheimer's disease.

            -   Two lectures for the opening of the Academic Year on the invitation of Gezondheids- en Levenswetenschappen, Faculty of Aard- en Levenswetenschappen, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.  Title: Education and Environment have only a minor effect on us. Most of our characteristics are inborn.



Ph.D. theses


D.F. Swaab was mentor of 71 Ph.D students, 11 of whom became full professor. The following PhD students received an award for their thesis :


A. Kalsbeek (1989)                    Incentive Prize of the Amsterdam Neurological Society

E. Goudsmit (1991)                    Sandoz Prize for Endocrinology 1992

H.B.O.M. Honnebier (1993)         Cum Laude. Organon Prize for Endocrinology 1994

E. Aronica (1993)                       Cum Laude

P.J. Lucassen (1995)                 Cum Laude, Organon Prize for Endocrinology 1996

J.N. Zhou (1996)                        The Netherlands Society for Endocrinology Thesis Prize 1997

A. Salehi (1996)                         Boerhaave Aanmoedigingsprijs 1998.

E.J.W. van Someren (1997)        Cum Laude. Young Investigators Award by the International Society for Chronobiology in 1997.

B.A.Th.F. Gabreëls (1998)          Organon Prize for Endocrinology 1999.

W.J.G. Hoogendijk (1998)           Ramaermedaille for Psychiatry 1999 and the International Society for Biological Psychiatry Scientific Award for Young Scientists, 1999.

Paul Dijkhuizen (1999)                Greiner Award for best Ph.D. thesis on gene therapy of 1999.

Tatjana Ishunina (2000)   Russian thesis (2003) Summa Cum Laude.

F.P.M. Kruijver (2004)                GIRES research award 2004




D.F. Swaab has published over 410 papers in SCI journals and 190 chapters in books. He is editor of 18 books. He is series editor (3rd series) of the renowned Elsevier Handbook of Clinical Neurology, of which over 30 volumes are planned and of which 8 volumes have already appeared.


Swaab's H-factor is: 70


He is author of the monograph The Human Hypothalamus. Basic and Clinical Aspects. Part I: Nuclei of the Hypothalamus; Part II: Neuropathology of the Hypothalamus and Adjacent Brain Structures. Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Elsevier, Amsterdam, approx. 1000 pp, 2003/2004.


A few key topics and publications:

Sexual differentiation of the brain

-           Swaab, D.F. and E. Fliers - A sexually dimorphic nucleus in the human brain. Science 228, 1112-1115, 1985.

-           Swaab, D.F. and M.A. Hofman - An enlarged suprachiasmatic nucleus in homosexual men. Brain Res. 537, 141-148, 1990.

-           Zhou, J.N., Hofman, M.A., Gooren, L.J.G. and Swaab, D.F. - A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. Nature 378: 68-70, 1995.

-           Kruijver, F.P.M., Zhou, J.N., Pool, C.W., Hofman, M.A., Gooren, L.J.G., Swaab, D.F. - Male-to-female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metabol. 85: 2034-2041, 2000. This paper was awarded the GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) prize 2002.

-           Swaab, D.F. - Sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 21: 431-444.


            Alzheimer's disease

-           Swaab, D.F. - Brain aging and Alzheimer's disease: "wear and tear" versus "use it or lose it". Neurobiol. Aging, 12, 317-324, 1991.

-           Salehi, A., Verhaagen, J., Dijkhuizen, P.A., Swaab, D.F. - Colocalization of high affinity neurotrophin receptors in nucleus basalis of Meynert neurons and their differential reduction in Alzheimer's disease. Neuroscience 75: 373-378, 1996.

-           Salehi, A., Pool, C.W., Mulder, M., Ravid, R., Gonatas, N.K., Swaab, D.F. - Activity of hippocampal CA1 neurons in Alzheimer’s disease is not affected by the presence of adjacent neuritic plaques. J. Alzh. Disease 1: 107-118,1998.

-           Salehi, A., Dubelaar, E.J.G., Mulder, M., Swaab, D.F. - Decreased activity of nucleus basalis neurons in Alzheimer’s disease is ApoE type dependent. PNAS 95: 11445-11449, 1998.

-           Dubelaar, E.J., Verwer, R.W., Hogman, M.A., Van Heerikhuize, J.J., Ravid, R., Swaab, D.F. – ApoE epsilon4 genotype is accompanied by lower metabolic activity in the nucleus basalis of Meynert neurons in Alzheimer patients and controls as indicated by the size of the Golgi apparatus. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 63: 159-169, 2004.

-           Scherder, E.J.A., Sergeant, J.A., Swaab, D.F. - Pain processing in dementia and its relation to neuropathology. Lancet Neurol. 2: 677-686, 2003.

-           Ishunina, T.A., Swaab, D.F., Fischer, D.F. - Estrogen receptor alpha splice variants in the    medial mamillary nucleus of Alzheimr's disease patients: identification of a novel MS1 isoform.  J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab. 90: 3757-3765, 2005. Submission of sequence data to GenBank, nucleotide sequence bankit651211 AY750962

-           Dubelaar, E.J.G., Mufson, E.J., Ter Meulen, W., Van Heerikhuize, J.J., Verwer, R.W.H., Swaab, D.F. - Increased metabolic activity in nucleus basalis of Meynert neurons in elderly individuals with mild cognitive impairment as indicated by the size of the Golgi apparatus. J. Neuropathol. Exptl. Neurol. 65: 257-266, 2006.

-           Ishunina, T.A. and Swaab, D.F. - Age-dependent ERα MB1 splice variant expression in discrete areas of the human brain. Neurobiol. Aging (Epub ahead of print)

-           Wu, Y.-H., Fischer, D.F., Kalsbeek, A., Garidou-Boof, M.-L., Van der Vliet, J., Pirovano, C., Liu, R.-Y., Zhou, J.N., Swaab, D.F. - Pineal clock gene oscillation is disturbed in Alzheimer's disease, due to functional disconnection from the "master clock". FASEB J. 20: E1171-E1180, 2006


Parkinson’s disease

-         Purba, J.S., Hofman, M.A. and Swaab, D.F. - Decreased number of oxytocin-immunoreactive neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in Parkinson's disease. Neurology 44, 84-89,1994.

-        De Vos, R.A.I., E.N.H. Jansen, F.C. Stam, R. Ravid, H. Begthel, H. Ploegmakers and D.F. Swaab - "Lewy body disease": clinico-neuro-pathological correlations in 18 consecutive cases of Parkinson's disease. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 97: 13-22, 1995.

-         Hoogendijk, W.J.G., Pool, C.W., Troost, D., Van Zwieten, E.J. and Swaab, D.F. - Image-analyzer-assisted morphometry of the locus coeruleus in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Brain, 118, 131-143, 1995 * Material from this paper was selected by the journal to serve as cover illustration.

-         Hoogendijk, W.J.G., Purba, J.S., Hofman, M.A., De Vos, R.A.I., Jansen, E.N.H., Swaab, D.F. - Depression in Parkinson’s disease is not accompanied by more corticotropin-releasing hormone expressing neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. Biol. Psych. 43: 913-917, 1998.

-         Scherder, E.J.A., Wolters, E., Polman, C., Sergeant, J., Swaab, D. - Pain in Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis; its relation to the medial and lateral pain systems. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Rev. 29: 1047-1056, 2005.

-         Fronczek, R., Overeem, S., Lee, S.Y.Y., Hegeman, I.M., Van Pelt, J., Van Duinen, S.G., Lammers, G.J., Swaab, D.F. - Hypocretin (orexin) loss and sleep disturbances in Parkinson's disease. Brain 130: 1577-1585.



-           Raadsheer, F.C., Van Heerikhuize, J.J., Lucassen, P.J., Hoogendijk, W.J.G., Tilders, F.J.H., D.F. Swaab - Increased corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA in the paraventricular nucleus of patients with Alzheimer's disease or depression. Am. J. Psychiatry 152, 1372-1376, 1995.

-           Zhou, J.N., Riemersma, R.F., Unmehopa, U.A., Hoogendijk, W.J.G., Van Heerikhuize, J.J., Hofman, M.A. and Swaab, D.F. - Alterations in arginine vasopressin neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in depression. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 58: 655-662, 2001.

-           Lucassen, P.J., Müller, M.B., Holsboer, F., Bauer, J., Holtrop, A., Wouda, J., Hoogendijk, W.J.G., De Kloet, E.R., Swaab, D.F. - Hippocampal apoptosis in major depression is a rare event and absent from subareas at risk for glucocorticoid overexposure. Am. J. Pathol.  158: 453-468, 2001.

-           Bao, A.-M., Hestiantoro, A., Van Someren, E.J.W., Swaab, D.F., Zhou, J.N. Colocalization of corticotrophin releasing hormone and estrogen receptor-α in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in mood disorders. Brain 128: 1301-1313, 2005.

-           Meynen, G., Unmehopa, U.A., Van Heerikhuize, J., Hofman, M.A., Swaab, D.F. - Increased arginine vasopressin mRNA expression in the human hypothalamus in depression: a preliminary report. Biol. Psychiatry 60: 892-895.

-           Meynen, G., Unmehopa, U.A., Hofman, M.A., Swaab, D.F., Hoogendijk, W.J. - Relation between corticotropin-releasing hormone neuron number in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and depressive state in Alzheimer's disease. Neuroendocrinology 85: 37-44.

-           Meynen, G., Unmehopa, U.A., Hofman, M.A., Swaab, D.F., Hoogendijk, W.J. - Hypothalamic oxytocin mRNA expression and melancholic depression. Mol. Psychiatry 12: 118-119.

-           Wang, S.S., Kamphuis, W., Zhou, J.N., Swaab, D.F. - Gene expression analysis in the human hypothalamus in depression by Laser Micro-Dissection and Real Time PCR: the presence of multiple receptor imbalances. Molecular Psychiatry (in press), 2008


Eating disorders and metabolism

-           Goldstone, A.P., Unmehopa, U.A., Swaab, D.F. - Hypothalamic NPY and AGRP are increased in human illness but not in Prader-Willi syndrome and other obese subjects. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 87: 927-937, 2002.

-           Swaab, D.F., Purba, J.S. and Hofman, M.A. - Alterations in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and its oxytocin neurons (putative satiety cells) in Prader-Willi syndrome: A study of five cases. J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab. 80(2):573-579, 1995.

-           Alkemade, A., Unmehopa, U.A., Wiersinga, W.M., Swaab, D.F., Fliers, E. - Glucocorticoids decrease TRH mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the human hypothalamus. J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab. 90: 323-327, 2005.

-           Unmehopa, U.A., Van Heerikhuize, J.J., Spijkstra, W., Woods, J.W., Howard, A.D., Zycband, E., Feighner, S.D., Hreniuk, D.L., Palyha, O.C., Guan, X.-M., MacNeil, D.J., Van der Ploeg, L.H.T., Swaab, D.F. - Increased melanin concentrating hormone receptor type I (MCH1R) in the human hypothalamic infundibular nucleus in cachexia. J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab. 90: 2412-2419,2005.



-           Huitinga, I., De Groot, C.J.A., Van der Valk, P., Kamphorst, W., Tilders, F.J.H., Swaab, D.F. - Hypothalamic lesions in multiple sclerosis. J. Neuropath. Exptl. Neurol. 60: 1208-1218, 2001. 

-           Huitinga, I., Erkut, Z.A., Van Beurden, D., Swaab, D.F. - Impaired hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and more severe multiple sclerosis with hypothalamic lesions. Ann. Neurol. 55: 37-45, 2004.


Human postmortem cell culture

-           Dai, J.P., Swaab, D.F., Buijs, R.M. - Recovery of axonal transport in ‘dead neurons’. Lancet 351: 499-500, 1998.

-           Verwer, R.W.H., Hermens, W.T.J.M.C., Dijkhuizen, P.A., Ter Brake, O., Baker, R.E., Salehi, A., Sluiter, A.A., Kok, M.J.M., Müller, L.J., Verhaagen, J., Swaab, D.F. - Cells in human post-mortem brain tissue slices remain alive for several weeks in culture. FASEB J. 16: 54-60, 2002.

-           Wu, L., Sluiter, A.A., Guo, H.F., Balesar, R.A., Swaab, D.F., Zhou, J.N., Verwer, R.W.H. - Neural stem cells improve neuronal survival in cultured postmortem brain tissue from aged and Alzheimer patients. J. Cellular and Mol. Med.12: 1611-1621, 2008


Huntington's Disease

-           Timmers, H.J.L.M., Swaab, D.F., Van de Nes, J.A.P., and Kremer, H.P.H. - Somatostatin 1-12 immunoreactivity is decreased in the hypothalamic lateral tuberal nucleus of Huntington's disease patients. Brain Res. 728: 141-148, 1996.

-           Aziz, N.A., Swaab, D.F., Pijl, H., Roos, R.A.C. - Hypothalamic dysfunction and neuroendocrine and metabolic alterations in Huntington's disease: clinical consequences and therapeutic implications. Revs. Neurosci 18: 223-251.

-           Aziz, N.A., Fronczek, R., Maat-Schieman, M.L.C., Unmehopa, U.A., Roelandse, F.W.C., Overeem, S., Van  Duinen, S.G., Lammers, G.J., Swaab, D.F., Roos, R.A.C. - Hypocretin and melanin-concentrating hormone in patients with Huntington disease. Brain Pathology (in press)



-         Goncharuk, V.D., Van Heerikhuize, J.J., Swaab, D.F., Buijs, R.M. - Paraventricular nucleus of the human hypothalamus in primary hypertension: activation of corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons. J. Comp. Neurol. 443: 321-331, 2001.

-         Goncharuk, V.D., Buijs, R.M., Swaab, D.F. - Corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons in hypertensive patients are activated in the hypothalamus but not in the brainstem. J. Comp. Neurol. 503: 148-168, 2007.



-           Erkut, Z.A., Klooker, T., Endert, E., Huitinga, I., Swaab, D.F. - Stress of dying is not suppressed by high-dose morphine or by dementia. Neuropsychopharmacology 29: 152-157, 2004.

-           Overeem, S., Van Vliet, J.A., Lammers, G.J., Zitman, F.G., Swaab, D.F., Ferrari, M.D. The hypothalamus in episodic brain disorders. Lancet Neurol. 1: 437-444, 2002.

-           Verwer, R., Sluiter, A., Balesar, R., Baayen, J., Noske, D., Dirven, C.,Wouda, J., Van Dam, A., Lucassen, P., Swaab, D. - Mature astrocytes in the adult human neocortex express the early neuronal marker doublecortin. Brain 130: 3321-3335, 2007.

-           Raymann, R.J.E.M., Swaab, D.F., Van Someren, E.J.W. - Skin deep: enhanced sleep depth by cutaneous temperature manipulation, Brain 131: 500-513, 2008.


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