Elly Hol


Prof. Elly Hol

  • stroke
  • epilepsy
  • translational research
+31 88 750181
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Elly Hol was trained as a medical biologist with a specialization in molecular neurobiology. After her PhD in Utrecht, she obtained a Max-Planck Fellowship to work for 2 years at the Max-Planck-Institute for Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany. In 1997 she started as a post-doc at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research in Amsterdam, where she acquired substantial funding, including a fellowship of the Netherlands Brain foundation. Between 2003 and 2013 she headed the group “Astrocyte Biology & Neurodegeneration” at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. She currently is professor “Glia biology of brain diseases” at the BCRM in Utrecht (2015), special professor “Biology of Glia and Neural Stem Cells” at the University of Amsterdam (2011), and visiting  professor at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam  (2013). Elly Hol is a recipient of numerous research grants, including the prestigious NWO VICI-award. She is in the editorial board of Glia,  chair of the ‘Friends of the Neurofederation’, and chair of GliaNed.

The research of her group is focused on the role of glial cells in brain diseases. The overall aim is to elucidate the molecular and functional changes in glia that contribute to the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric diseases. Her work is particularly concerned with studying glial cells in human post-mortem brain tissue and in mouse models for brain diseases. She applies sophisticated immunological, molecular and cell biological techniques on whole brain tissue and on glia isolated from human and mouse brains.

Elly Hol’s work is published in leading journals such as Brain, Molecular Psychiatry, Science, and Stem Cells Translational Medicine. She is regularly invited as a speaker at dedicated research conferences and at events for a broader scientific audience. She enjoys to explain research to the general public.

Research line and group

Research line
Glia biology in brain disease
Number of PhD students
Number of postdocs

Personal fellowships and awards

  • ZonMW -MKMD, 2014
  • Nominated by NWO for AcademiaNet - Expert Database for Outstanding Female Scientists and Scholars.
  • VICI (NWO-ALW), 2009
  • Hersenstichting fellowship, 2000
  • Max-Planck Fellowship, 1995

Most recent key publications

  • Hol, E.M. and Pekny, M. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and the astrocyte intermediate filament system in diseases of the central nervous system. Current Opinion in Cell Biology 32 (2015) 121-130.
  • Orre, M., Kamphuis, W., Osborn, L,. Jansen, A., Kooijman, L., Bossers,K., and Hol, E.M. Isolation of glia from Alzheimer’s mice reveals inflammation and dysfunction. Neurobiology of aging 35 (2014) :2746-2760
  • Kanski R., Sneeboer, M.A.M., van Bodegraven, E.J., Sluijs, J.A., Kropff, W., Vermunt, M.W., Creyghton, M.P., De Filippis, L., Vescovi, A., Aronica, E., van Tijn, P., van Strien, M.E., and Hol, E.M. Histone acetylation in astrocytes suppresses GFAP and stimulates a re-organization of the intermediate filament network. Journal of Cell Science 127 (2014) 4368-4380.
  • Moeton, M., Kanski, R. , Sluijs, J.A., Geerts, D., van Tijn, P., van Strien, M.E., and Hol, E.M. Silencing GFAP isoforms in astrocytoma cells disturbs laminin dependent motility and cell adhesion. FASEB J 28 (2014) 2942-2954
  • Van Strien, M.E., Sluijs, J.A., Reynolds, B.A., Steindler, D., Aronica, E., and Hol, E.M. Isolation of neural stem cells from the human adult subventricular zone based on expression of the cell surface marker CD271. Stem cells Translational Medicine 3 (2014) 470-480. 7.Orre, M., Kamphuis, W., Dooves, S., Kooijman, L., Chan, E.T., Kirk, C.J., Dimayuga-Smith, V., Koot, S., Mamber, C., Jansen, A., Ovaa, H., and Hol, E.M. Reactive glia show increased immunoproteasome activity in Alzheimer’s disease. Brain 136 (2013) 1415-1431