NAME: Joost Verhaagen
BIRTH PLACE and DATE: Delft, The Netherlands; June 4 1956
POSITION TITLE: Professor and Head Laboratory for Neuroregeneration
EDUCATION: Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, University of Utrecht, 1987
Joost Verhaagen was trained in molecular biology, obtained a Ph.D. from the faculty of Medicine at the University of Utrecht, received post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Chemosensory Neurobiology (Nutley, USA, headed by Frank Margolis), and was a visiting scientist in the Laboratory of Neuro¬biology and Behavior (New York, USA, headed by Donald Pfaff). He founded and heads the Laboratory for Neuroregeneration at the NIN and is strategic professor in the Molecular Biology of Neuroregeneration at the VU. He has published over 170 peer reviewed papers and received prestigious national and international research funding, including a KNAW-fellowship, NWO-pioneer fellowship, NWO-TOP, SenterNovem, Top Institute Pharma and ISRT grants. He has been the 2004 – Raine visiting professor at the University of Western Australia in Perth. He is an expert in the neurobiology of neural injury and in gene therapy.His laboratory studies anatomical and functional plasticity in the injured and intact central and peripheral nervous system with a focus on the role of transcription factors and chemorepulsive proteins. He has recently also included work on neurodegeneration and plasticity in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. His research is relevant to advance our understanding of how neurons survive injury and form and maintain new functional connections after injury. Verhaagen has supervised 21 Ph.D. students many of whom pursued a career in (neuro)science and are now successfully running their own laboratory or are employed in leading positions in biotechology companies.
1998 - present: Strategic professor, Faculty of Life Sciences, Vrije University, Amsterdam. Chair: The Molecular Biology of Neuroregeneration
1996 - present: Workgroup leader, Laboratory for Neuroregeneration, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam
1994 - 1996: Principal investigator (4 days/week)
Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam
Principal investigator (1 day/week)
Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neuroscience, Utrecht
1994 - 2000: Pioneer-fellow of NWO at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and the Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neuroscience
1992 Visiting scientist (February to May)
Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior (Head: Prof. Dr. D.W. Pfaff), The Rockefeller University, New York, USA
1989 - 1994: Research fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (“KNAW-fellow”) at the Rudolf Magnus Institute, Utrecht
1987 - 1989: Postdoctoral Fellow
Laboratory of Chemosensory Neurobiology (Head: Dr. F.L. Margolis) Department of Neurosciences, Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Hoffman La Roche Inc., Nutley, New Jersey, USA
Honors and Scientific Management
• Editor of Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Volume 109 - Spinal Cord Injury 2012
• Robson Award of the ISRT for best grant application of 2011
• Editorial Board Experimental Neurology, 2011 – present
• Editor Progress in Brain Research 175, 2009
• Editorial Board Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 2007 - present
• Chairman Workshop Committee AxRegen ITN Marie Curie, 2008-2012
• Scientific Committee International Spinal Research Trust, 2005 - present
• Editor special Issue J. Neurotrauma 2006: Experimental strategies to repair the injured SC
• Visiting professor, Shantou University Medical Center, Shantou, China, 2005
• Raine visiting professor, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia 2004
• Editorial Board Current Gene Therapy, 2001 – present
• Scientific Committee Hersenstichting Nederland, 2003 – 2012
• Organiser ESN-symposium “Neuroregeneration and trauma”, Perugia, Italy
• Editor special issue Cell Transplantation 9, 2000
• Editor Progress in Brain Research 117, 1998
• Editor special issue J. Neuroscience Methods “Application of gene transfer technology in neurobiology”, 1997
• Organizer ENA-workshop “Gene transfer in neurobiology”, 1995
Ph.D. students supervised
21 Ph. D. students completed their thesis under Verhaagen’s (co)supervision on topics related to axon regeneration, plasticity and gene therapy – listed here students from 2004 onwards:
• Fred de Winter (27 May 2004) - Secreted semaphorins: chemorepulsive control of neural regeneration? Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA).
• Joris de Wit (29 November 2004) - Truncated trkB and semaphorin 3A: role in restricting structural plasticity in the adult nervous system? VUA.
• Femke de Vrij (10 February 2005) - Mutant ubiquitin and the proteasome in Alzheimer’s disease. University of Amsterdam.
• Floor Stam (29 May 2006) - Exploring the neuronal response to injury: a genomics and proteomics analysis. VUA.
• William Hendriks (20 June 2008) - Gene transfer and cell transplantation to promote regeneration of the injured spinal cord. VUA.
• Elske Franssen (5 December 2008) - Olfactory ensheating glia as a source of neuroregeneration-promoting molecules. VUA.
• Martijn Tannemaat (3 December 2008) - Molecular nerve repair. VUA.
• Koen Bossers (10 November 2009) - Spot the difference: gene expression changes in Alzheimer and Parkinson disease. VUA.
• Harold Mac Gillavry (5 October 2010) - Deciphering the gene regulatory network underlying successful neuronal regeneration. VUA.
• Tam Vo (8 September 2011) - Studies on semaphorin3A in the neuromuscular junction and in perineuronal nets. VUA.
• Erich Ehlert (23 November 2011) - Inhibitors of spinal cord regeneration. VUA.
• Kasper Roet (planned: 12 December 2012) – Understanding the pro-regenerative properties of olfactory ensheathing glia cells. VUA.
• Joanna Korecka (planned: for January 2013) – Unravelling the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease. VUA.