dr. N. (Niels) Eijkelkamp

dr. N. (Niels) Eijkelkamp

Associate Professor
dr. N. (Niels) Eijkelkamp
  • Center for Translational Immunology (CTI) Research



Niels Eijkelkamp (18-07-1980) is PI at the laboratory of translational immunology. His research focusses on chronic pain, a major debilitating disease that affects >20% of the population. He aims to unravel mechanisms and to identify novel treatments of chronic pain by elucidating the role of the immune system and its interactions with the nervous system in chronic pain. His group is one of the very few groups in the Netherlands studying the mechanisms underlying pain. 

His group uses different experimental approaches to unravel molecular pain mechansims and identify novel treatment approaches with the ultimate aim to translate these basic research findings to chronic pain patients such as children with Juvenile Idiopathic arthritis and adults with chronic inflammatory disease and osteoarthtis.

Eijkelkamp graduated in 2003 with honors in Medical Biology (University of Utrecht). In 2009 he completed his PhD under supervision of Dr. Heijnen with his thesis entitled ‘GRK gatekeeper of pain and inflammation’. Prior to his PhD he worked for 1 year on stress and wound healing in the team led by Dr. Sheridan at the Ohio State University. As PostDoc he had a joint appointment at the UMCU and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to work on the role of GRKs in pain. Finally, he worked for 2 years on sensory transduction and signalling pathways in chronic pain in the laboratory of Dr. Wood at the University College London. Since 2013 he started his own group at the UMCU.

Side Activities

Member of the editorial board of Brain, Behaviour & Immunity

Fellowship and Awards

2019: Health Holland. Cytofuse

2019: TTW(NWO). It takes two to stop chronic pain: an innovative treatment with endogenous regulatory immune molecules.

2018: Dutch arthritis foundation (ReumaNL). Identification of inflammatory mediators in spinal liquor in relation to synovial nerve sprouting and pain in osteoarthritis.

2018: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 – BonepainII. An innovative European PhD training network in bone pain.

2017: WKZ child Health Boost Grant. co-applicant. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, when does it hurt?

2015 Dutch arthritis foundation. Identification of inflammatory mediators in spinal liquor in relation to synovial nerve sprouting and pain in osteoarthritis.

2014 H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014 – Bonepain. Create an innovative European PhD training network in bone pain.

2013 Life science Seed grant Utrecht university. Title: Regulating neuroinflammation and sensory neuron function using a fusion protein of IL-4 and IL-10: a novel therapeutic strategy to block chronic pain.  

2010-2012 Rubicon fellowship of the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO). to perform research at the laboratory of Molecular Nociception of Prof Wood at the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College of London, London, UK. Title: Novel mechanisms of chronic pain: regulated trafficking of sodium channels by GRK2.

Research Output (79)

Feasibility of quantitative sensory testing in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Mensink Maarten O, Eijkelkamp Niels, Veldhuijzen Dieuwke S, Wulffraat Nico M 9 Aug 2022, In: Pediatric rheumatology online journal. 20 , p. 1-7

The Role of Interleukin-4 and Interleukin-10 in Osteoarthritic Joint Disease:A Systematic Narrative Review

van Helvoort E M, van der Heijden E, van Roon J A G, Eijkelkamp N, Mastbergen S C 1 Apr 2022, In: Cartilage. 13 , p. 1-14

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

Neuropathic pain in the IMI-APPROACH knee osteoarthritis cohort:prevalence and phenotyping

van Helvoort Eefje Martine, Welsing Paco M J, Jansen Mylène P, Gielis Willem Paul, Loef Marieke, Kloppenburg Margreet, Blanco Francisco, Haugen Ida K, Berenbaum Francis, Bay-Jensen Anne-C, Ladel Christoph, Lalande Agnes, Larkin Jonathan, Loughlin John, Mobasheri Ali, Weinans Harrie, Lafeber Floris, Eijkelkamp Niels, Mastbergen Simon Dec 2021, In: RMD Open. 7 , p. 1-9

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

Dorsal root ganglia macrophages maintain osteoarthritis pain

Raoof Ramin, Gil Christian Martin, Lafeber Floris P.J.G., De Visser Huub, Prado Judith, Versteeg Sabine, Pascha Mirte N., Heinemans Anne L.P., Adolfs Youri, Pasterkamp Jeroen, Wood John N., Mastbergen Simon C., Eijkelkamp Niels 16 Aug 2021, In: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 41 , p. 8249-8261 13 p.

Neuro-immune interactions in paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy

Vermeer Cornelia J C, Hiensch Anouk E, Cleenewerk Laurence, May Anne M, Eijkelkamp Niels 26 Jul 2021, In: Acta Oncologica. 60 , p. 1369-1382 14 p.

Cytokine receptor clustering in sensory neurons with an engineered cytokine fusion protein triggers unique pain resolution pathways

Prado Judith, Westerink Remco H S, Popov-Celeketic Jelena, Steen-Louws Cristine, Pandit Aridaman, Versteeg Sabine, van de Worp Wouter, Kanters Deon H A J, Reedquist Kris A, Koenderman Leo, Hack C Erik, Eijkelkamp Niels 16 Mar 2021, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 118

All research output

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