Department of Translational Neuroscience
UMC Utrecht Brain Center
3584 CG Utrecht
Tel: +31 887568810
IntroductionSince 2002 I am a full professor in molecular pharmacology at the department of translational neuroscience in the Brain Center of University Medical Center Utrecht. We aim at unraveling the genetic and neural pathways underlying eating disorders and obesity. Feeding behavior is a complex behavior that serves to control energy balance of an organism. Homeostatic control over energy balance is challenged by higher brain centers that drive feeding of palatable foods or inhibit feeding in order to loose weight. These disruptions may contribute to development of eating disorders and obesity. Several animal models are used in which anorectic behavior (including hyperactivity) is mimicked or in which animals become obese following exposure to palatable choice diets. Using viral vector technology, we manipulate the activity of specific neurons Implicated in eating disorders in animals, in order to unravel the role of these neurons in feeding behavior and energy balance. Results from animal experiments are translated into clinical relevance. DNA from eating disorders patients and epidemiological cohorts is available with extensive phenotypic information. This allows to determine genotype-phenotype relationships in humans. Since 2010 I also hold a research position at Rintveld Eating disorders which ensures the translational character of the eating disorder research line. Since 2017 I am guest professor at the University of Gothenburg.
Grants relevant to eating disordersENW Klein: a project directed at determining plastic changes in hypothalamic neurons in eating disorders ERANET project: MiGBAN on gut-brain communication in anorexia nervosa Brainscapes: A national multicenter program aimed at targeting neurons implicated in brain disease processes Private sponsoring: using rodent models for anorexia nervosa to find new therapies
Click here to view my articles on pubmed.