prof. dr. F.E. (Freek) Hoebeek

prof. dr. F.E. (Freek) Hoebeek

Full Professor
prof. dr. F.E. (Freek) Hoebeek
  • DDOD laboratory
  • Division of Pediatrics

Research Programs



Freek obtained his doctorate degree at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in March 2005 being supervised by Prof. Chris De Zeeuw. The title of his thesis was ‘Electrophysiological responses of floccular Purkinje cells during compensatory eye movements in mutant mice’. The subsequent post-doc appointment in the laboratories of Prof. Ype Elgersma and Prof. Chris De Zeeuw at the Erasmus Department Neuroscience from 2005 to 2008 focused on the impact of CaMKII isoforms on cerebellar plasticity and motor behavior. From 2009-2011 Freek’s research focused on the physiology and connectivity of the cerebellar nuclei in health and disease, which paved the way for starting his own research group. As an assistant and associate professor Freek focused on thalamic studies on cerebello-cerebral interactions. During this time his students came from various research disciplines (Biomedical Sciences, BioElectrical Engineering, Medicine, Nanobiology and Psychology), which provided a mixture of disciplines and expertise enabling several multidisciplinary studies. Freek’s network extends from the (bio)medical and engineering faculties of several Dutch universities to expert centers in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Japan and the USA.

Since January 2018 Freek has been appointed as the Chair of ‘Translation Research of Early Life Events’ at UMC Utrecht, which allows him to achieve his ambitions in connecting bench- and bed-side research. His current position is Full Professor, head of the Department for Developmental Origins of Disease in the division Woman & Child (Vrouw en Baby) at the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital of the UMC Utrecht. The main focus of his current scientific research is how adverse early life events affect the development of the connections between cerebellum and cerebrum.

Freek has supervised >15 PhD-students, numerous postdoctoral fellows and junior PIs. He contributed >60 articles and performs peer-review for a wide range of journals (Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Communications, Neuron, PNAS, Cell Reports, Pediatrics, Annals of Neurology, etc) and is a member of the Dutch Neurofederation, the Dutch League against epilepsy, the society of anatomists, the Dutch-Flemish brain innovations consortium, Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and Society for Neuroscience (SFN, USA). Freek presented the work of his team and hosted sessions at various international meetings, such as Gordon Research Conference, FENS and SFN. His research has been supported by several local and national grants (VENI, VIDI, TOP, Gravitation).

Since 2017 Freek is certified for academic teaching (BKO certificate; CAT course for honors teaching) and is currently the manager education for the division Woman & Child. Since 2021 Freek has been appointed the chair of the Harmen Tiddens Society for dedicated educators in the UMC Utrecht, which focusses on building the education community.



1. Augmented Reticular Thalamic Bursting and Seizures in Scn1a-Dravet Syndrome
Ritter-Makinson, S., Clemente-Perez, A., Higashikubo, B., Cho, F. S., Holden, S. S., Bennett, E., Chkaidze, A., Eelkman Rooda, O. H. J., Cornet, M. C., Hoebeek, F. E., Yamakawa, K., Cilio, M. R., Delord, B. & Paz, J. T., 2 Jan 2019, In : Cell Reports. 26, 1, p. 54-64.

2.Differentiating Cerebellar Impact on Thalamic Nuclei
Gornati, S. V., Schäfer, C. B., Eelkman Rooda, O. H. J., Nigg, A. L., De Zeeuw, C. I. & Hoebeek, F. E., 2018, In : Cell Reports. 23, 9, p. 2690-2704.

3. Neurodevelopmental consequences of preterm isolated cerebellar hemorrhage: A systematic review
Hortensius, L. M., Dijkshoorn, A. B. C., Ecury-Goossen, G. M., Steggerda, S. J., Hoebeek, F. E., Benders, M. J. N. L. & Dudink, J., 1 Nov 2018, In : Pediatrics. 142, 5, e20180609.

4.Convergence of Primary Sensory Cortex and Cerebellar Nuclei Pathways in the Whisker System    Schafer, C. B. & Hoebeek, F. E., 1 Jan 2018, In : Neuroscience. 368, p. 229-239

5.Cerebello-cerebral connectivity in the developing brain                                                          Pieterman, K., Batalle, D., Dudink, J., Tournier, J. D., Hughes, E. J., Barnett, M., Benders, M. J., Edwards, A. D., Hoebeek, F. E. & Counsell, S. J., 29 Aug 2016. In : Brain Structure and Function. p. 1-10 10 p.

6.Dysfunctional cerebellar Purkinje cells contribute to autism-like behaviour in Shank2-deficient mice Peter, S., Ten Brinke, M. M., Stedehouder, J., Reinelt, C. M., Wu, B., Zhou, H., Zhou, K., Boele, H-J., Kushner, S. A., Lee, M. G., Schmeisser, M. J., Boeckers, T. M., Schonewille, M., Hoebeek, F. E. & De Zeeuw, C. I., 1 Sep 2016, In : Nature Communications. 7, p. 12627



Side Activities

National grant evaluation committee for Dutch Science Foundation (NWO', Zon-MW)

Grant reviewer for European Research Council (ERC-CoG)

Grant reviewer for French National Science Foundation (ANR)

Guest lecturer at 'Studiecentrum Rechtspraak'

Fellowship and Awards

- Young Talent Lecture and Travel Grant - Gordon research conference  2011

- Annual Top 3 publication in journal Cell reports  2013

- Best poster award International League Against Epilepsy meeting  2015

- FENS/IBRO/KAVLI network of excellence mentoring prize nomination  2016/8

- Erasmus University Fellowship ( 200.000)  2006-2010
  Calcium channelopathies and their impact on cerebellar activity

- NWO-ALW VENI (#863.08.015; 208.000)  2008-2011
  Plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in cerebellar cortex

- NWO-TOP cross discipline (#1350186; €675.000)  2010-2016  
  Multidisciplinary studies on Cerebellum, ataxia, epilepsy and migraine

- NWO-ALW VIDI (#016.121.346; €800.000)  2012-2017
  Unravelling the cerebellar impact on thalamo-cortical networks

- Erasmus MC MRace Pilot grant (€100.000)  2015-2017
  Limiting seizures and side effects of DBS in Dravet syndrome mouse model

- C.J. Vaillant fonds Seed Grant (€20.000)  2017
  Contribution to silicon probe in vivo neuromonitoring system

- Coolsingel foundation (€40.000) – with pediatric neurology Erasmus MC  2015-2017
  Improving treatment options for refractory epilepsy patients

- Gravitation grant NWO (€1,100,000 out of 21,900,000) – Dutch Brain Interface Initiative  2022-2031
  Neuromonitoring and neurostimulation innovations







Research Output (37)

Controlling absence seizures from the cerebellar nuclei via activation of the Gq signaling pathway

Schwitalla Jan Claudius, Pakusch Johanna, Mücher Brix, Brückner Alexander, Depke Dominic Alexej, Fenzl Thomas, De Zeeuw Chris I, Kros Lieke, Hoebeek Freek E, Mark Melanie D Apr 2022, In: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 79

Activity of Cerebellar Nuclei Neurons Correlates with ZebrinII Identity of Their Purkinje Cell Afferents

Beekhof Gerrit C, Gornati Simona V, Canto Cathrin B, Libster Avraham M, Schonewille Martijn, De Zeeuw Chris I, Hoebeek Freek E 7 Oct 2021, In: Cells. 10 , p. 1-16

Homologous organization of cerebellar pathways to sensory, motor, and associative forebrain

Pisano Thomas J, Dhanerawala Zahra M, Kislin Mikhail, Bakshinskaya Dariya, Engel Esteban A, Hansen Ethan J, Hoag Austin T, Lee Junuk, de Oude Nina L, Venkataraju Kannan Umadevi, Verpeut Jessica L, Hoebeek Freek E, Richardson Ben D, Boele Henk-Jan, Wang Samuel S-H 21 Sep 2021, In: Cell Reports. 36 , p. 1-29

Single-pulse stimulation of cerebellar nuclei stops epileptic thalamic activity

Eelkman Rooda Oscar H J, Kros Lieke, Faneyte Sade J, Holland Peter J, Gornati Simona V, Poelman Huub J, Jansen Nico A, Tolner Else A, van den Maagdenberg Arn M J M, De Zeeuw Chris I, Hoebeek Freek E 1 Jul 2021, In: Brain stimulation. 14 , p. 861-872 12 p.

Protein phosphatase 2b dual function facilitates synaptic integrity and motor learning

Lin Zhanmin, Wu Bin, Paul Maarten W, Li Ka Wan, Yao Yao, Smal Ihor, Proietti Onori Martina, Hasanbegovic Hana, Bezstarosti Karel, Demmers Jeroen, Houtsmuller Adriaan B, Meijering Erik, Hoebeek Freek E, Schonewille Martijn, Smit August B, Gao Zhenyu, De Zeeuw Chris I 30 Jun 2021, In: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 41 , p. 5579-5594 16 p.

Differential spatiotemporal development of Purkinje cell populations and cerebellum-dependent sensorimotor behaviors

Beekhof Gerrit Cornelis, Osório Catarina, White Joshua J, van Zoomeren Scott, van der Stok Hannah, Xiong Bilian, Nettersheim Ingo Hms, Mak Willem Ashwin, Runge Marit, Fiocchi Francesca Romana, Boele Henk-Jan, Hoebeek Freek E, Schonewille Martijn 11 May 2021, In: eLife. 10 , p. 1-34

Temporal dynamics of the cerebello-cortical convergence in ventro-lateral motor thalamus

Schäfer Carmen B, Gao Zhenyu, De Zeeuw Chris I, Hoebeek Freek E 25 Jan 2021, In: Journal of Physiology (London). 599 , p. 2055-2073 19 p.

Causes and consequences of structural aberrations in cerebellar development

Dudink Jeroen, Faneyte Sade J., Hoebeek Freek E. 1 Jan 2021, p. 371-382 12 p.

The developmental code of the cerebellothalamocortical tract

Faneyte Sade J., Dudink Jeroen, Hoebeek Freek E. 1 Jan 2021, p. 383-393 11 p.

Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning is severely impaired in tottering mice

de Oude Nina L, Hoebeek Freek E, Ten Brinke Michiel M, de Zeeuw Chris I, Boele Henk-Jan 16 Dec 2020, In: Journal of Neurophysiology. 125 , p. 398-407 10 p.

All research output

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