Prof. dr. Casper Hoogenraad
Cell Biology, Department of Biology
Faculty of Science, Utrecht University
Kruytgebouw, room N501
Casper Hoogenraad studied Biology at Utrecht University. He performed his graduate research at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and received his Ph.D. in 2001. As a postdoctoral fellow he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Morgan Sheng at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA. In 2005, he started his own research group at the Department of Neuroscience at the Erasmus Medical Center and moved in 2011 to Utrecht University where he is now full Professor in the Department of Biology. He is recipient of ESF-EURYI (2005), ZonMW-VIDI (2005), NWO-VICI (2011), ERC Consolidator (2013) grants. Casper Hoogenraad is a member of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (2014), member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) (2015) and member of Young Academy of Europe (YAE) (2015). In 2016, Casper Hoogenraad received the 10th International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), Kemali Prize at the FENS forum in Copenhagen.
The primary goal of the lab is to understand how intracellular protein trafficking underlies neuronal development and function. This work is significant because neurons are dependent upon very precise localization of proteins to support their ability to send and receive information.
Neuronal cells represent a unique model for addressing fundamental questions in molecular and cellular biology. The size, shape and specialized functions of neurons permit analyses of neuronal migration, axon and dendrite outgrowth, and synapse formation and function. By understanding the basic cellular mechanisms and development of individual neurons, we can better understand how the nervous system develops and functions in an entire animal.
We particularly focus on the areas of microtubule cytoskeleton, synaptic cargo trafficking and synaptic plasticity. The research in the lab can roughly be divided in three themes:
- Cytoskeleton dynamics during neurodevelopment and synaptic plasticity
- Motor proteins and adaptors as regulators of synaptic transport
- Neuropsychiatric disorders linked to intracellular transport
Our research relies on combining different genetics, biochemistry, molecular, and cellular biology methods in in vitro (neuron cultures), ex vivo (brain slices), and in vivo (mice) systems. In addition we employ immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, high-resolution live cell imaging (spinning disc microscopy and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, TIRF) and quantitative analysis using advanced high-resolution microscopy (photo-activated localization microscopy, PALM).
For more information, visit the group website at http://cellbiology.science.uu.nl/research-groups/casper-hoogenraad
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