Casper Hoogenraad

Hoogenraad foto

Prof. Casper Hoogenraad

  • neuromuscular disorders
  • developmental disorders
  • translational research
  • structure and connections
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Casper Hoogenraad studied Biology at Utrecht University. He performed his graduate research at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and received his Ph.D. in 2001. As a postdoctoral fellow he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Morgan Sheng at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA. In 2005, he started his own research group at the Department of Neuroscience at the Erasmus Medical Center and moved in 2011 to Utrecht University where he is now full Professor in the Department of Biology at the Faculty of Science. He is recipient of ESF-EURYI (2005), ZonMW-VIDI (2005) and NWO-VICI (2011) grants and member of De Jonge Akademie (DJA), which is part of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Casper Hoogenraad is an expert in the field of protein trafficking and synaptic structure/function. The primary goal of his lab is to understand how intracellular protein trafficking underlies neuronal development and function. Currently, his research can be divided into three research themes: (i) Cytoskeletal dynamics during neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. (ii) Motor proteins and adaptors in transport of synaptic proteins. (iii) Brain diseases linked to intracellular transport. This research relies on combining different genetic, biochemistry, molecular, and cellular biology methods in in vitro (neuron cultures), ex vivo (brain slices), and in vivo (mice) systems. The lab has a state-of-the art infrastructure to support excellent multidisciplinary research and focuses on advanced imaging, such immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, high-resolution live cell imaging and quantitative analysis using advanced high-resolution microscopy. See for more information:

Casper Hoogenraad's work is regularly published in leading journals such as Cell, Nature, Science, Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, Developmental Cell, Current Biology, EMBO Journal and Journal of Neuroscience and he contributes reviews to Current Opinion, Trends and Nature Reviews journals. He is regularly invited to give research lectures and organizes scientific meetings under the framework of the EMBO, and Utrecht Summerschool series.

Research line and group

Research line
Cell biology of the neuron - in health and disease
Number of PhD students
Number of postdocs

Personal fellowships and awards

  • 2004 NWO (ZonMw) VIDI grant
  • 2005 Human Frontiers Career Development Award
  • 2005 European Young Investigators (EURYI) award
  • 2010 EMBO Young Investigators Program (YIP) fellow
  • 2011 NWO (ALW) VICI grant

Most recent key publications

  • van Spronsen et al., (2013) TRAK/Milton motor-adaptor proteins steer mitochondrial trafficking to axons and dendrites, Neuron. 77(3):485-502
  • Hellal et al., (2011) Microtubule stabilization reduces scarring and causes axon regeneration after spinal cord injury. Science 331(6019):928-31
  • Stiess et al., (2010) Axon extension occurs independently of centrosomal microtubule nucleation. Science 327(5966):704-7
  • Kapitein et al., (2010) Mixed microtubules steer dynein-driven cargo transport into dendrites. Current Biol 20(4):290-299
  • Jaworski et al., (2009) Dynamic microtubules regulate dendritic spine morphology and synaptic plasticity. Neuron, 61(1), 85-100