dr. C.H.A. (Cora H.A. ) Nijboer

Associate Professor

  • DDOD laboratory

dr. C.H.A. (Cora H.A. ) Nijboer


Cora Nijboer was born on November 5th 1980. She studied Medical Biology at Utrecht University which she graduated with honors in 2003. She started as a PhD student in 2003 at a collaborative project between the Laboratory of Neuroimmunology and Developmental Origins of Disease (NIDOD) and the Department of Neonatology at the UMCU under supervision of Professor Heijnen and Professor van Bel. She studied novel treatment strategies to combat neonatal brain damage after hypoxia-ischemia. In 2008 this work resulted in her PhD thesis: “Protecting the newborn brain: molecular mechanisms & therapeutic targets”.  

After finishing her PhD she continued her research as a post-doctoral researcher at the NIDOD Laboratory of the UMCU. She has extensively studied how peripheral treatment with small (peptide) inhibitors of crucial cell signaling pathways, including NF-κB, JNK and p53, can reduce cerebral cell death after hypoxia-ischemia in newborn rodents. Her area of interest also includes regenerative mesenchymal stem cell treatment and white matter injury in preterm neonates.

She was awarded a WKZ Research Fund (2013), a fellowship grant of ‘Hersenstichting Nederland’ (2014),  a Hersenstichting The Next Step grant (2017), a Marie Sklodowska-Curie CoFund grant (2018) and she leads a project at ZonMw-TAS (2011-2020). Furthermore she has collaborations with Industrial partners like Chiesi Pharmaceuticals and Nutricia Research.

She is currently Associate Professor and group leader of the research line “Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration” within the NIDOD Lab and supervises a team of PhD students, post-docs, technicians and students. She works in very close collaboration with clinicians of the Department of Neonatology.

Research line

Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration of the newborn brain

Most recent key publications

1:van Tilborg E, Achterberg EJM, van Kammen CM, van der Toorn A, Groenendaal F, Dijkhuizen RM, Heijnen CJ, Vanderschuren LJMJ, Benders MNJL, Nijboer CH. Combined fetal inflammation and postnatal hypoxia causes myelin deficits and autism-like behavior in a rat model of diffuse white matter injury. GLIA. (2018) 66: 78-93.

2: Van Tilborg E, de Theije CGM, van Hal M, Wagenaar N, de Vries LS, Benders M, Rowitch DH, Nijboer CH. Origin and dynamics of oligodendrocytes in the developing brain: implications for perinatal white matter injury. GLIA (2018) 66: 221-238.

3: Wagenaar N, de Theije CGM, de Vries LS, Groenendaal F, Benders MJNL, Nijboer CH. Promoting neuroregeneration after perinatal arterial ischemic stroke: Neurotrophic factors and mesenchymal stem cells. Pediatric Research (2018) 83: 372-384.

4:Braccioli L, Heijnen CJ, Coffer PJ, Nijboer CH. Delayed administration of neural stem cells after hypoxia-ischemia reduces sensorimotor deficits, cerebral lesion size and neuroinflammation in neonatal mice. Pediatric Research (2017) 81:127-135.

5: Van Tilborg E, Heijnen CJ, Benders MJ, van Bel F, Fleiss B, Gressens P, Nijboer CH. Impaired oligodendrocyte maturation in preterm infants: potential therapeutic targets. Progress in Neurobiology (2016) 136:28-49.

6: Donega V, Nijboer CH, van Velthoven CT, Youssef SA, de Bruin A, van Bel F, Kavelaars A, Heijnen CJ. Assessment of long-term safety and efficacy of intranasal mesenchymal stem cell treatment for neonatal brain injury in the mouse. Pediatr Res. 2015; doi: 10.1038/pr.2015.145

Side Activities

  • None

Fellowship and Awards

  • 1: ZonMw (NWO) - TAS (Translationeel Adult Stamcelonderzoek) (2011): “Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) to regenerate the neonatal brain”; project-leader (preclinical) and project secretary

    2: WKZ Research Fund (2013): “A novel strategy to protect the preterm brain against perinatal white matter injury.”; PI

    3: Hersenstichting Nederland –Fellowship Stroke (2014): “Mesenchymal stem cell therapy to repair white matter injury in the preterm neonatal brain: boosting oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination.”; fellow

    4: Hersenstichting Nederland - The Next Step (2017): "Intranasal growth factor treatment: a novel strategy to repair the injured preterm brain."; PI

    5: EU, Marie Sklodowska-Curie CoFund - RESCUE program Utrecht RMSC (2018): "Development of novel protective and regenerative treatment strategies for brain injury in the preterm and fullterm neonate."; PI

    6: Young scientist award (Prof. Acarin award) (2012), Hershey Conference for Developmental Brain Injury, London, UK.

Research Output (68)

Postnatal Nutrition to Improve Brain Development in the Preterm Infant:A Systematic Review From Bench to Bedside

Hortensius Lisa M., van Elburg Ruurd M., Nijboer Cora H., Benders Manon J. N. L., de Theije Caroline G. M. 26 jul 2019, In: Frontiers in Physiology. 10

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

SOX4 inhibits oligodendrocyte differentiation of embryonic neural stem cells in vitro by inducing Hes5 expression

Braccioli Luca, Vervoort Stephin J., Puma Gianmarco, Nijboer Cora H., Coffer Paul J. 1 dec 2018, In: Stem Cell Research. 33 , p. 110-119 10 p.

Forkhead box protein P1, a key player in neuronal development?

Braccioli Luca, Nijboer Cora H., Coffer Paul J. 1 mei 2018, In: Neural Regeneration Research. 13 , p. 801-802 2 p.

Nitric oxide synthase inhibition as a neuroprotective strategy following hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy:Evidence from animal studies

Favié Laurent M.A., Cox Arlette R., van den Hoogen Agnes, Nijboer Cora H.A., Peeters-Scholte Cacha M.P.C.D., van Bel Frank, Egberts Toine C.G., Rademaker Carin M.A., Groenendaal Floris 19 apr 2018, In: Frontiers in Neurology. 9 14 p.

Intranasal Stem Cell Treatment as a Novel Therapy for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Nijboer Cora H, Kooijman Elke, van Velthoven Cindy T, Van Tilborg Erik, Tiebosch Ivo A.C.W., Eijkelkamp Niels, Dijkhuizen Rick M, Kesecioglu Jozef, Heijnen Cobi J 1 mrt 2018, In: Stem Cells and Development. 27 , p. 313-325 13 p.

Combined fetal inflammation and postnatal hypoxia causes myelin deficits and autism-like behavior in a rat model of diffuse white matter injury

van Tilborg Erik, Achterberg E J Marijke, van Kammen Caren M, van der Toorn Annette, Groenendaal Floris, Dijkhuizen Rick M, Heijnen Cobi J, Vanderschuren Louk J M J, Benders Manon N J L, Nijboer Cora H A 2018, In: GLIA. 66 , p. 78-93

A quantitative method for microstructural analysis of myelinated axons in the injured rodent brain

van Tilborg E, van Kammen Caren M, de Theije CGM, van Meer Maurits P.A., Dijkhuizen RM, Nijboer CHA 28 nov 2017, In: Scientific Reports. 7

Origin and dynamics of oligodendrocytes in the developing brain:Implications for perinatal white matter injury

van Tilborg Erik, de Theije Caroline G.M., van Hal Maurik, Wagenaar Nienke, de Vries Linda S., Benders Manon J., Rowitch David H, Nijboer Cora H. 14 nov 2017, In: GLIA. 66 , p. 221-238 18 p.

FOXP1 Promotes Embryonic Neural Stem Cell Differentiation by Repressing Jagged1 Expression

Braccioli Luca, Vervoort Stephin J., Adolfs Youri, Heijnen Cobi J, Basak Onur, Pasterkamp R. Jeroen, Nijboer Cora H., Coffer Paul J. 14 nov 2017, In: Stem Cell Reports [E]. 9 , p. 1530-1545 16 p.

All Research Output (68)