Neuro-Immunology of pain - Group Eijkelkamp

Neuro-Immunology of pain - Group Eijkelkamp

Neuro-immunology of pain

About uitklapper, klik om te openen

Chronic pain affects ~20% of the population and is difficult to treat. To identify potential novel pain treatments we need deeper understanding of the mechanisms that drive chronic pain. We are interested in the neurobiology of chronic pain and focus primarily on interactions between the immune system and the sensory nervous system. By understanding which neuro-immune interactions are important contributors to chronic pain development, we aim to identify and develop new highly needed therapeutics to treat painful conditions. We perform fundamental research and aim to translate our research into the clinic by collaborating with scientists and clinicians.

Research programs uitklapper, klik om te openen

Infection and Immunity

Child Health

Contact uitklapper, klik om te openen

Niels Eijkelkamp


088-755 4354

Research interests uitklapper, klik om te openen

  • Immune cells contributing to resolution and maintenance of pain
  • Development of fusion proteins of regulatory cytokines for the treatment of chronic pain
  • Mitochondria in regulating neuronal homeostasis and pain.
  • Bonepain: Mechanisms of Osteoarthritis (OA) and bone cancer induced pain
  • Neuropathy in diabetes Mellitus
  • Biomarkers and predictors of OA and juvenile idiopathic arthritis pain

Group members uitklapper, klik om te openen

Group leader 

dr. N. Eijkelkamp

Associate Professor


Hanneke Willemen  

Huiying Yeoh

Leire Almandoz Gil

Senior researcher

Judith Prado

Research technicians

Sabine Versteeg

Fanny Boisnard

PhD students

Mohammed Asiri

Christian Martin Gil

Maarten Mensink

Patricia Ribeiro


Lucie Groenendaal

Annefien Tiggeler

Key publications uitklapper, klik om te openen

  1. Willemen HLDM, Kavelaars A, Prado J, Maas M, Versteeg S, Nellissen LJJ, Tromp J, Cano RG, Zhou W, Jakobsson ME, Malecki J, Posthuma G, Habib AM, Heijnen CJ, Falnes ØP, Eijkelkamp N. Identification of FAM173B as a protein methyltransferase promoting chronic pain. Plos Biology, 2018. View
  2. Raoof R, Willemen HLDM, Eijkelkamp N. Divergent roles of immune cells and their mediators in pain. Rheumatology, 2017. View
  3. Eijkelkamp N, Steen-Louws C, Hartgring SA, Willemen HLDM, Prado J, Lafeber FP, Heijnen CJ, Hack CE, van Roon JA, Kavelaars A. IL4-10 Fusion Protein Is a Novel Drug to Treat Persistent Inflammatory Pain. J. Neurosci, 2016. View
  4. Eijkelkamp N, Linley JE, Torres JM, Bee L, Dickenson AH, Gringhuis M, Minett MS, Hong GS, Lee E, Oh U, Ishikawa Y, Zwartkuis FJ, Cox JJ, Wood JN. A role for Piezo2 in EPAC1-dependent mechanical allodynia. Nat Commun. 2013;4:1682. View

PHD theses uitklapper, klik om te openen

Uterine immunovascular adaptations in early pregnancy

Emiel Post Uiterweer


Chronic inflammatory pain: new molecules and mechanisms

Hanneke Willemen


GRK2 and chronic pain

Huijing Wang


Grants uitklapper, klik om te openen

  • CUCo: Centre for unusual collaborations
  • Healt Holland
  • NWO: TTW
  • UU: 3V's
  • EU BonePain network
  • ReumaNederland
  • See all grants

Prizes uitklapper, klik om te openen

  • Congress of the European Pain Federation Financial aid to attend the congress in Valencia - Mohammed Asiri (2019)
  • 17th World Congress on Pain Financial aid to attend the congress in Boston - Ramin Raoof (2018)
  • Bright Sparks Award Ramin Raoof 2018
  • The Challenge of Chronic Pain Conferences Bursary to attend the conferences in Cambridge - Ramin Raoof (2017)
  • EMBO short term fellowship Travel Grant Hanneke Willemen (2014)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds Travel Grant Hanneke Willemen (2013) 


In the media uitklapper, klik om te openen

29 Aug 2019: Op zoek naar de oorzaken van pijn bij artrose - ReumaNederland nieuws

20 Mar 2019: Naar een effectieve behandeling van chronische pijn - De Instantie voor Dierenwelzijn Utrecht

16 Jul 2018: Veni-subsidie voor 22 jonge Utrechtse wetenschappers - Utrecht University Nieuws

14 Sep 2016: Team van onderzoekers werkt aan volgende fase medicijn synerkine - ReumaNederland nieuws

28 Jul 2013: Nieuwe kijk op chronische pijn - Hanneke Willemen for MEDNET

Collaborations uitklapper, klik om te openen

University Medical Center Utrecht

Dr. Linde Meyaard & Dr. Michiel v/d Vlist

Dr. Jeanette Leusen

Dr. Jo Hoppener

Dr. Floris Lafeber & Simon Mastbergen

Utrecht University

Dr. Remco Westerink


Dr. Pal Falnes, Oslo University, Norway
Dr. Cobi Heijnen & Dr. Annemieke Kavelaars, MD Anderson, Houston, USA

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