prof. dr. F.E. (Freek) Hoebeek

Full Professor

  • DDOD laboratory

prof. dr. F.E. (Freek) Hoebeek

Research Programs


Freek obtained his doctorate degree at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in March 2005 being supervised by Prof. Chris De Zeeuw. The title of his thesis was ‘Electrophysiological responses of floccular Purkinje cells during compensatory eye movements in mutant mice’. The subsequent post-doc appointment in the laboratories of Prof. Ype Elgersma and Prof. Chris De Zeeuw at the Erasmus Department Neuroscience from 2005 to 2008 focused on the impact of CaMKII isoforms on cerebellar plasticity and motor behavior. From 2009-2011 Freek’s research focused on the physiology and connectivity of the cerebellar nuclei in health and disease, which paved the way for starting his own research group. As an assistant and associate professor Freek focused on thalamic studies on cerebello-cerebral interactions. During this time his students came from various research disciplines (Biomedical Sciences, BioElectrical Engineering, Medicine, Nanobiology and Psychology), which provided a mixture of disciplines and expertise enabling several multidisciplinary studies. Freek’s network extends from the (bio)medical and engineering faculties of several Dutch universities to expert centers in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Japan and the USA.

Since January 2018 Freek has been appointed as the Chair of ‘Translation Research of Early Life Events’ at UMC Utrecht, which allows him to achieve his ambitions in connecting bench- and bed-side research. His current position is Full Professor, head of the research department of the division Woman & Child (Vrouw en Baby) at the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital of the UMC Utrecht. The main focus of his current scientific research is how aberrant development from the earliest stages of life can have adverse effects on the outcome during later life.

Freek has supervised >10 PhD-students and numerous Postdoctoral fellows and junior PIs. He contributed numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals (Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Communications, Neuron, PNAS, Cell Reports, Pediatrics, Annals of Neurology, etc). His research has been supported by several local and national grants. Since 2017 Freek is certified for academic teaching (BKO certificate; CAT course for honours teaching) and is currently the manager education for the division Woman & Child.



1. Augmented Reticular Thalamic Bursting and Seizures in Scn1a-Dravet Syndrome
Ritter-Makinson, S., Clemente-Perez, A., Higashikubo, B., Cho, F. S., Holden, S. S., Bennett, E., Chkaidze, A., Eelkman Rooda, O. H. J., Cornet, M. C., Hoebeek, F. E., Yamakawa, K., Cilio, M. R., Delord, B. & Paz, J. T., 2 Jan 2019, In : Cell Reports. 26, 1, p. 54-64.

2.Differentiating Cerebellar Impact on Thalamic Nuclei
Gornati, S. V., Schäfer, C. B., Eelkman Rooda, O. H. J., Nigg, A. L., De Zeeuw, C. I. & Hoebeek, F. E., 2018, In : Cell Reports. 23, 9, p. 2690-2704.

3. Neurodevelopmental consequences of preterm isolated cerebellar hemorrhage: A systematic review
Hortensius, L. M., Dijkshoorn, A. B. C., Ecury-Goossen, G. M., Steggerda, S. J., Hoebeek, F. E., Benders, M. J. N. L. & Dudink, J., 1 Nov 2018, In : Pediatrics. 142, 5, e20180609.

4.Convergence of Primary Sensory Cortex and Cerebellar Nuclei Pathways in the Whisker System    Schafer, C. B. & Hoebeek, F. E., 1 Jan 2018, In : Neuroscience. 368, p. 229-239

5.Cerebello-cerebral connectivity in the developing brain                                                          Pieterman, K., Batalle, D., Dudink, J., Tournier, J. D., Hughes, E. J., Barnett, M., Benders, M. J., Edwards, A. D., Hoebeek, F. E. & Counsell, S. J., 29 Aug 2016. In : Brain Structure and Function. p. 1-10 10 p.

6.Dysfunctional cerebellar Purkinje cells contribute to autism-like behaviour in Shank2-deficient mice Peter, S., Ten Brinke, M. M., Stedehouder, J., Reinelt, C. M., Wu, B., Zhou, H., Zhou, K., Boele, H-J., Kushner, S. A., Lee, M. G., Schmeisser, M. J., Boeckers, T. M., Schonewille, M., Hoebeek, F. E. & De Zeeuw, C. I., 1 Sep 2016, In : Nature Communications. 7, p. 12627



Side Activities

  • Invited speaker on many international courses and symposia

    Reviewer for many international scientific journals

    National grant evaluation committee for Dutch Science Foundation (NWO', Zon-MW)

    Grant reviewer for European Research Council (ERC-CoG)

    Grant reviewer for French National Science Foundation (ANR)

    Member of Dutch Neurofederation

    Member of Society for Neuroscience (United-States)

    Member of Federation of European Neuroscience societies

    Member of Dutch-Belgium brain innovation consortium

    Member of Dutch anatomenvereniging

    Member of Dutch League against Epilepsy

    Founding Chair of the NeuroDelta consortium (

    Founding Chair of the BrainInsight consortium (NWA-ORC)

    Numerous consortia for H2020, NIH, and NWO-gravitaion research proposals

    International PhD evaluation committees

    Guest speaker at public lectures and outreach activities (musea, patient organisations, art exhibitions)

    Guest lecturer at 'Studiecentrum Rechtspraak'





Fellowship and Awards

  • - Young Talent Lecture and Travel Grant - Gordon research conference  2011

    - Annual Top 3 publication in journal Cell reports  2013

    - Best poster award International League Against Epilepsy meeting  2015

    - FENS/IBRO/KAVLI network of excellence mentoring prize nomination  2016/8

    - Erasmus University Fellowship ( 200.000)  2006-2010
      Calcium channelopathies and their impact on cerebellar activity

    - NWO-ALW VENI (#863.08.015; 208.000)  2008-2011
      Plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in cerebellar cortex

    - NWO-TOP cross discipline (#1350186; €675.000)  2010-2016  
      Multidisciplinary studies on Cerebellum, ataxia, epilepsy and migraine

    - NWO-ALW VIDI (#016.121.346; €800.000)  2012-2017
      Unravelling the cerebellar impact on thalamo-cortical networks

    - Erasmus MC MRace Pilot grant (€100.000)  2015-2017
      Limiting seizures and side effects of DBS in Dravet syndrome mouse model

    - C.J. Vaillant fonds Seed Grant (€20.000)  2017
      Contribution to silicon probe in vivo neuromonitoring system

    - Coolsingel foundation (€40.000) – with pediatric neurology Erasmus MC  2015-2017
      Improving treatment options for refractory epilepsy patients







Research Output (19)

Preterm infants with isolated cerebellar hemorrhage show bilateral cortical alterations at term equivalent age

Dijkshoorn Aicha B C, Turk Elise, Hortensius Lisa M, van der Aa Niek E, Hoebeek Freek E, Groenendaal Floris, Benders Manon J N L, Dudink Jeroen 24 mrt 2020, In: Scientific Reports. 10 12 p.

Van Klein naar Groot

Hoebeek FE 18 jan 2019,

Augmented Reticular Thalamic Bursting and Seizures in Scn1a-Dravet Syndrome

Ritter-Makinson Stefanie, Clemente-Perez Alexandra, Higashikubo Bryan, Cho Frances S., Holden Stephanie S., Bennett Eric, Chkaidze Ana, Eelkman Rooda Oscar H.J., Cornet Marie Coralie, Hoebeek Freek E., Yamakawa Kazuhiro, Cilio Maria Roberta, Delord Bruno, Paz Jeanne T. 2 jan 2019, In: Cell Reports. 26 , p. 54-64.e6

The Potential of Stem Cell Therapy to Repair White Matter Injury in Preterm Infants:Lessons Learned From Experimental Models

Vaes Josine E G, Vink Marit A, de Theije Caroline G M, Hoebeek Freek E, Benders Manon J N L, Nijboer Cora H A 1 jan 2019, In: Frontiers in Physiology. 10

Neurodevelopmental consequences of preterm isolated cerebellar hemorrhage:A systematic review

Hortensius Lisa M., Dijkshoorn Aicha B.C., Ecury-Goossen Ginette M., Steggerda Sylke J., Hoebeek Freek E., Benders Manon J.N.L., Dudink Jeroen 1 nov 2018, In: Pediatrics. 142

Cerebellar growth impairment characterizes school-aged children born preterm without perinatal brain lesions

Pieterman K., White T. J., Van Den Bosch G. E., Niessen W. J., Reiss I. K.M., Tibboel D., Hoebeek F. E., Dudink J. 1 mei 2018, In: American Journal of Neuroradiology. 39 , p. 956-962 7 p.

Impact of NMDA receptor overexpression on cerebellar purkinje cell activity and motor learning

Galliano Elisa, Schonewille Martijn, Peter Saša, Rutteman Mandy, Houtman Simone, Jaarsma Dick, Hoebeek Freek E., De Zeeuw Chris I. 1 jan 2018, In: eNeuro. 5

A guide to in vivo optogenetic applications for cerebellar studies

Eelkman Rooda Oscar H.J., Hoebeek Freek E. 1 jan 2018, p. 109-128 20 p.

Convergence of Primary Sensory Cortex and Cerebellar Nuclei Pathways in the Whisker System

Schafer Carmen B., Hoebeek Freek E. 1 jan 2018, In: Neuroscience. 368 , p. 229-239

Chloride Homeostasis in Neurons With Special Emphasis on the Olivocerebellar System:Differential Roles for Transporters and Channels

Rahmati Negah, Hoebeek Freek E, Peter Saša, De Zeeuw Chris I 2018, In: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience [E]. 12

All Research Output (19)