From 1963-1969, Hessel Franssen was inspired by the best type of school ever existing in the Netherlands: HBS-B. In these years, he served as an amateur astronomer of the NVWS studying stars with variable magnitude. From 1969-1977, he attended medical school at the RU Leiden and investigated the pathology of sucrose-kidneys in rats. During his Neurology residency in the Hague (1977-1984), he investigated mechanisms of neurological deficits in patients with Wernicke-Korsakow syndrome due to vitamin B1 deficiency and started work on his PhD thesis.
In 1986, he finished his PhD thesis on: "Visually guided saccades in patients with cortical and subcortical lesions" at the Catholic University Nijmegen. Since 1985, he is neurologist/clinical neurophysiologist at the University Utrecht, later UMC Utrecht. His initial research there concerned mathematical description of somatosensory evoked potentials in the primary sensory cortex. Current line of research includes pathophysiologic mechanisms and diagnostic tools in motor neuron disease and polyneuropathy by advanced electrophysiological methods. Expertise: electromyography in neuromuscular disorders.