drs. ing. H.I.I. (J. Peter H.) Kuper

drs. ing. H.I.I. (J. Peter H.) Kuper

Professor Emeritus
drs. ing. H.I.I. (J. Peter H.) Kuper
  • Translational Neuroscience



Peter Burbach studied chemistry and obtained his PhD degree with Ronald de Kloet and David de Wied at the Rudolf Magnus Institute, Utrecht University,  in 1980. He did postdoctoral research with Jacques Drouin, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, Canada, and returned in 1982 to the Rudolf Magnus Institute. In 1993 he was appointed as full professor in the molecular biology of neuropeptide systems, in molecular neuroendocrinology (1997) and in molecular neuroscience (2001). He is head of the department Translational Neuroscience, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus. He is summer scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, USA.

His present research concerns brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically autism. Key questions in his research concern the pathogenesis caused by mutations in contactins, a specific class of autism genes.

He has started his research in the field of biosynthesis of neuropeptides, and developed his interest in regulatory mechanisms via transcriptional regulation and transcription factors to brain development. He worked on the developmental mechanisms of dopamine neurons, and in recent years his research towards neurodevelopmental disorders.  His work covered a 300 publications amongst which Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, J. Neuroscience, and PNAS.

Research line


Most recent key publications

1: Zuko A, Bouyain S, van der Zwaag B, Burbach JPH (2011) Contactins: structural aspects in relation to developmental functions in brain disease. Adv Protein Chem Struct Biol. 8,4143-80.
2: Jacobs FM, Veenvliet JV, Almirza WH, Hoekstra EJ, von Oerthel L, van der Linden AJ, Neijts R, Koerkamp MG, van Leenen D, Holstege FC, Burbach JPH, Smidt MP (2011) Retinoic acid-dependent and -independent gene-regulatory pathways of Pitx3 in meso-diencephalic dopaminergic neurons. Development. 138, 5213-22
3: Smidt MP, Burbach JPH (2009) Terminal differentiation ofmesodiencephalic dopaminergic neurons: the role of Nurr1 and Pitx3. Adv Exp Med Biol. 651, 47-57
4: van der Zwaag B, Franke L, Poot M, Hochstenbach R, Spierenburg HA, Vorstman JA, van Daalen E, de Jonge MV, Verbeek NE, Brilstra EH, van 't Slot R, Ophoff RA, van Es MA, Blauw HM, Veldink JH, Buizer-Voskamp JE, Beemer FA, van den Berg LH, Wijmenga C, van Amstel HK, van Engeland H, Burbach JPH, Staal WG (2009) Gene-network analysis identifies susceptibility genes related to glycobiology in autism. PLoS One. 28;4(5):e5324.
5: Smidt, M.P. and Burbach, J.P.H. (2007). How to make a mesodiencephalic dopaminergic neuron. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 8, 21-32


Side Activities

Chair of the David de Wied Foundation of Neuroscience (non-profit)

Fellowship and Awards

Post-doctoral Fellowship of the Medical Research Council of Canada (1982)
C. and F. Demuth Award of the Swiss Medical Research Foundation (1984)
Organon Prize for Endocrinology (1985)
MBL Fellowship (2001 and 2002)

Research Output (182)

Modeling the quantitative nature of neurodevelopmental disorders using Collaborative Cross mice

Molenhuis Remco T., Bruining Hilgo, Brandt Myrna J.V., Van Soldt Petra E., Abu-Toamih Atamni Hanifa J., Burbach J. Peter H., Iraqi Fuad A., Mott Richard F., Kas Martien J.H. 13 Dec 2018, In: Molecular Autism. 9

Heterogeneity of cell surface glutamate and GABA receptor expression in shank and CNTN4 autism mouse models

Heise Christopher, Preuss Jonathan M., Schroeder Jan C., Battaglia Chiara R., Kolibius Jonas, Schmid Rebecca, Kreutz Michael R., Kas Martien J.H., Burbach J. Peter H., Boeckers Tobias M. 19 Jun 2018, In: Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. 11

Cell adhesion and matricellular support by astrocytes of the tripartite synapse

Hillen Anne E J, Burbach J Peter H, Hol Elly M Jun 2018, In: Progress in Neurobiology. 165-167 , p. 66-86

CD38 is Required for Dendritic Organization in Visual Cortex and Hippocampus

Nelissen Thom P, Bamford Rosemary A, Tochitani Shiro, Akkus Kamuran, Kudzinskas Aurimas, Yokoi Kenichiro, Okamoto Hiroshi, Yamamoto Yasuhiko, Burbach J Peter H, Matsuzaki Hideo, Oguro-Ando Asami 21 Feb 2018, In: Neuroscience. 372 , p. 114-125

Structural abnormalities in the primary somatosensory cortex and a normal behavioral profile in Contactin-5 deficient mice

Kleijer Kristel T E , van Nieuwenhuize Denise, Spierenburg Henk A., Gregorio-Jordan Sara, Kas Martien J H, Burbach J. Peter H 2 Jan 2018, In: Cell Adhesion & Migration. 12 , p. 5-18 14 p.

A current view on contactin-4, -5, and -6:Implications in neurodevelopmental disorders

Oguro-Ando Asami, Zuko Amila, Kleijer Kristel T.E., Burbach J. Peter H. 1 Jun 2017, In: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. 81 , p. 72-83 12 p.

Anatomy and Cell Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorder:Lessons from Human Genetics

Kleijer Kristel T E , Huguet Guillaume, Tastet Julie , Bourgeron Thomas, Burbach J P H 2017, p. 1-25 25 p.

Developmental role of the cell adhesion molecule Contactin-6 in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus

Zuko Amila, Oguro-Ando Asami, Van Dijk Roland, Gregorio-Jordan Sara, Van Der Zwaag Bert, Burbach J Peter H Mar 2016, In: Cell Adhesion & Migration. 10 , p. 378-392

AUTISM. Unraveling a pathway to autism

Burbach J Peter H 2016, In: Science. 351 , p. 1153-1154 2 p.

All research output

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