Casper Hoogenraad

Casper Hoogenraad
Affiliation: Utrecht University, NL

 

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Casper Hoogenraad is a member of β€œDe Jonge Akademie (DJA)”, which is part of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). DJA focuses on three themes – interdisciplinarity within science and scholarship, science policy and science and society. See short introduction video (in Dutch). For more information about De Jonge Akademie, please see their website.

Research summary

The primary goal of the lab is to understand how intracellular protein trafficking underlies neuronal development and function. This work is significant because neurons are dependent upon very precise localization of proteins to support their ability to send and receive information.

Neuronal cells represent a unique model for addressing fundamental questions in molecular and cellular biology. The size, shape and specialized functions of neurons permit analyses of neuronal migration, axon and dendrite outgrowth, and synapse formation and function. By understanding the basic cellular mechanisms and development of individual neurons, we can better understand how the nervous system develops and functions in an entire animal.

We particularly focus on the areas of microtubule cytoskeleton, synaptic cargo trafficking and synaptic plasticity. The research in the lab can roughly be divided in three themes:

Cytoskeleton dynamics during neurodevelopment and synaptic plasticity
Motor proteins and adaptors as regulators of synaptic transport
Neuropsychiatric disorders linked to intracellular transport
Our research relies on combining different genetics, biochemistry, molecular, and cellular biology methods in in vitro (neuron cultures), ex vivo (brain slices), and in vivo (mice) systems. In addition we employ immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, high-resolution live cell imaging (spinning disc microscopy and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, TIRF) and quantitative analysis using advanced high-resolution microscopy (photo-activated localization microscopy, PALM).