University Medical Center Utrecht
Niels Eijkelkamp (18-07-1980) is PI at the laboratory of translational immunology and is head of the laboratory of Neuroimmunology and Origins of Disease. His research focusses on chronic pain, a major debilitating disease that affects >20% of the population. He aims to unravel mechanisms and to identify novel treatments of chronic pain by elucidating the role of the immune system and its interactions with the nervous system in chronic pain. His group is one of the very few groups in the Netherlands studying the mechanisms underlying pain. His group uses different experimental approaches to unravel molecular pain mechansims and identify novel treatment approaches with the ultimate aim to translate these basic research findings to chronic pain patients such as children with Juvenile Idiopathic arthritis and adults with chronic inflammatory disease and osteoarthtis. He is also involved in collaboration with several Obstetrician in the research on the role of immune cells (NK cells and macrophages) in the regulation in placentation and their role pregnancy disorders such as preeclampsia. Eijkelkamp graduated in 2003 with honors in Medical Biology (University of Utrecht). In 2009 he completed his PhD under supervision of Dr. Heijnen with his thesis entitled ‘GRK gatekeeper of pain and inflammation’. Prior to his PhD he worked for 1 year on stress and wound healing in the team led by Dr. Sheridan at the Ohio State University. As PostDoc he had a joint appointment at the UMCU and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to work on the role of GRKs in pain. Finally, he worked for 2 years on sensory transduction and signalling pathways in chronic pain in the laboratory of Dr. Wood at the University College London.