dr. ir. H.L.D.M. (Hanneke) Willemen

dr. ir. H.L.D.M. (Hanneke) Willemen

Assistant Professor
dr. ir. H.L.D.M. (Hanneke) Willemen
  • Center for Translational Immunology (CTI) Research

Research Programs

Infection & Immunity



Hanneke Willemen was born on March 21th, 1982 in Den Bosch. She studied Biotechnology at Wageningen University and in 2006 she received her Master’s degree with specialization cellular/molecular research. In 2006 she started working as a research technician at the Laboratory of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). In 2008 she started her PhD-project in the PNI-lab to studyneurobiological mechanisms underlying the transition from acute to chronic inflammation-induced pain under supervision of Professor Heijnen, Professor Kavelaars and Dr. Eijkelkamp. In 2013 this work resulted in her PhD thesis: “Chronic inflammatory pain: New molecules & mechanisms”. After completing her PhD she continued her research as a postdoc in the Laboratory of Neuroimmunology and Developmental Origins of Disease (NIDOD) under supervision of Dr. Eijkelkamp. She investigated the genetic contribution to chronic pain and identified an unidentified protein which has a key role to promote the development of chronic pain. In search for the molecular function of this protein she recently worked in the lab of Professor Falnes, Oslo University (Norway) for 3 months. In 2018 she was rewarded with a VENI (NWO) to study whether targeting mitochondria is a novel way to treat chronic pain. Currently she is working on this project in the neuro-immunulogy group (Dr. Eijkelkamp) at Center for Translational Immunology. 

Side Activities

UMCU young academy

Fellowship and Awards

Co-applicant EnergizeME: biomedical research on ME/CFS (funded ZoMw)

Defeating chronic pain. Centre for unusual collaborations (2021, 2022, 2023)

VENI (2018)

3V's: Pain-in-a-dish (2017) 

EMBO short-term fellowship (2014)

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (2013)

Research Output (42)

Inflammation-induced mitochondrial and metabolic disturbances in sensory neurons control the switch from acute to chronic pain

Willemen HLDM, Silva Santos Ribeiro Patrícia, Broeks Melissa, Meijer Nils, Versteeg Sabine, Tiggeler Annefien, de Boer Teun, Małecki Jędrzej, Falnes Pål Ø, Jans Judith, Eijkelkamp Niels 21 Nov 2023, In: Cell reports. Medicine. 4 16 p.

NLRP3 inflammasome activation in sensory neurons promotes chronic inflammatory and osteoarthritis pain

Silva Santos Ribeiro Patrícia, Willemen Hanneke L D M, Versteeg Sabine, Martin Gil Christian, Eijkelkamp Niels 24 Oct 2023, In: Immunotherapy advances. 3 16 p.

Mitochondria and sensory processing in inflammatory and neuropathic pain

Silva Santos Ribeiro P, Willemen Hanneke L D M, Eijkelkamp Niels 2022, In: Frontiers in pain research (Lausanne, Switzerland). 3

Macrophages transfer mitochondria to sensory neurons to resolve inflammatory pain

van der Vlist Michiel, Raoof Ramin, Willemen Hanneke L.D.M., Prado Judith, Versteeg Sabine, Martin Gil Christian, Vos Martijn, Lokhorst Roeland E., Pasterkamp R. Jeroen, Kojima Toshiyuki, Karasuyama Hajime, Khoury-Hanold William, Meyaard Linde, Eijkelkamp Niels 14 Dec 2021, In: Neuron. 110 , p. 613-626

Anti-GD2 IgA kills tumors by neutrophils without antibody-associated pain in the preclinical treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma

Evers Mitchell, Stip Marjolein, Keller Kaylee, Willemen Hanneke, Nederend Maaike, Jansen Marco, Chan Chilam, Budding Kevin, Nierkens Stefan, Valerius Thomas, Meyer-Wentrup Friederike, Eijkelkamp Niels, Leusen Jeanette 29 Oct 2021, In: Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer. 9 , p. 1-14

The methyltransferase METTL9 mediates pervasive 1-methylhistidine modification in mammalian proteomes

Davydova Erna, Shimazu Tadahiro, Schuhmacher Maren Kirstin, Jakobsson Magnus E, Willemen Hanneke L D M, Liu Tongri, Moen Anders, Ho Angela Y Y, Małecki Jędrzej, Schroer Lisa, Pinto Rita, Suzuki Takehiro, Grønsberg Ida A, Sohtome Yoshihiro, Akakabe Mai, Weirich Sara, Kikuchi Masaki, Olsen Jesper V, Dohmae Naoshi, Umehara Takashi, Sodeoka Mikiko, Siino Valentina, McDonough Michael A, Eijkelkamp Niels, Schofield Christopher J, Jeltsch Albert, Shinkai Yoichi, Falnes Pål Ø 9 Feb 2021, In: Nature Communications. 12 14 p.

GRK2 levels in myeloid cells modulate adipose-liver crosstalk in high fat diet-induced obesity

Vila-Bedmar Rocío, Cruces-Sande Marta, Arcones Alba C, Willemen Hanneke L D M, Prieto Patricia, Moreno-Indias Isabel, Díaz-Rodríguez Daniel, Francisco Sara, Jaén Rafael I, Gutiérrez-Repiso Carolina, Heijnen Cobi J, Boscá Lisardo, Fresno Manuel, Kavelaars Annemieke, Mayor Federico, Murga Cristina 11 Jan 2020, In: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 77 , p. 4957-4976 20 p.

Human FAM173A is a mitochondrial lysine-specific methyltransferase that targets adenine nucleotide translocase and affects mitochondrial respiration

Małecki Jędrzej, Willemen Hanneke L D M, Pinto Rita, Ho Angela Y Y, Moen Anders, Eijkelkamp Niels, Falnes Pål Ø 18 Jun 2019, In: Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294 , p. 11654-11664 11 p.

Sensory signaling pathways in inflammatory and neuropathic pain

Willemen Hanneke L.D.M., Eijkelkamp Niels 2019,

Lysine methylation by the mitochondrial methyltransferase FAM173B optimizes the function of mitochondrial ATP synthase

Małecki Je drzej M., Willemen Hanneke L.D.M., Pinto Rita, Ho Angela Y.Y., Moen Anders, Kjønstad Ingrid F., Burgering Boudewijn M.T., Zwartkruis Fried, Eijkelkamp Niels, Falnes Pål 10 Dec 2018, In: Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294 , p. 1128-1141 14 p.

All research output

Thank you for your review!

Has this information helped you?

Please tell us why, so that we can improve our website.

Working at UMC Utrecht





Practical uses cookies

This website uses cookies This website displays videos from, among others, YouTube. Such parties place cookies (third-party cookies). If you do not want these cookies, you can indicate that here. We also place cookies ourselves to improve our site.

Read more about the cookie policy

Agree No, rather not