Connecting European Neuroscience

Geert Ramakers

Ordinary member, Committee on Higher Education and Training (CHET) (July 2018 - July 2020)

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and academic career

Present position:  2016 – now: Associate Professor at UMC Utrecht, the Netherlands.

1995 – now Referee for multiple journals and funding agencies.

2000 – now Co-promotor (8 PhD students) Graduate School of Life Sciences, UMC Utrecht/UU. Teaching experience, during academic career.

2000 – now Lectures in multiple bachelor, master and PhD courses (on average 15 – 20 lectures/year).

2003 – now Coordinator of 5 bachelor, master and PhD courses.

2010 – now Tutor bachelor Biomedical Sciences (14 students/year).

Past positions:

1984 - 1990: MSc Biology, University of Nijmegen, NL.

1990 - 1995: PhD, Rudolf Magnus Institute, University of Utrecht, NL.

1995 - 1997: Postdoctoral Fellow, Rudolf Magnus Institute, University of Utrecht, NL. 1998 – 2000: Marie Curie fellowship at Department of Physiology, Oslo University, Norway.

2000 – 2016: Assistant Professor at UMC Utrecht, NL.

Honours and awards

1998 Marie Curie Fellowship “Control of information processing in hippocampal pyramidal neurons through modulation of A- and SK-type potassium channels”.

2007 TI Pharma Grant “The GPCR forum”; 2 PhDs. 2010 Dutch Epilepsy Foundation “Role of network rewiring and axon guidance proteins in experimental epileptogenesis”; 1 PhD.

2012 NWO Graduate Program “Brain Center Rudolf Magnus”; 4 PhDs.

2014 NWO Graduate Program “Neuroscience and Cognition Utrecht”; 4 PhDs.

2015 NWO TOP grant “Shining light on loss of control over substance and food intake”; 2 PhDs. Teaching Awards, Certificates and Fellowships 2013 Talma Eijkman price (teacher of the year Faculty of Medicine). 2013 Basic Teaching Qualification.

2013 – 2014 Educational Leadership program CEUT-UU.

2014 – 2016 Teaching Fellow UU.

2016 Senior Teaching Qualification Certificate.

General administrative and organisational experience

I am coordinator of the master program Neuroscience and Cognition and the PhD program Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience. I am member of the Expert Group Education in Life Sciences. This group developed training for educators within the Graduate School of Life Science and developed a two-year program 'Navigation towards Personal Excellence'for master students. The latter program has been selected by the Utrecht University as an exemplar initiative ("Parel"). I am chair of the Educational Committee of the bachelor program Biomedical Sciences. This committee is responsible for the quality control of the education. Recently, we have developed a new teaching philosophy for this bachelor program based on the intimate link between research and education. As Teaching Fellow, I have implemented the research and patient care themes of the UMC Utrecht in the (bio) medical curricula and I have actively contributed to the Teaching Strategy of the UMC Utrecht 2016-2020.

Expertise in national or international training of students

As part of the Educational Leadership program, I visited four universities in three countries: University College London, UK; University of Manchester, UK; Copenhagen University, Denmark and Lund University, Sweden. All these experiences formed the basis for the input I had in the new Strategic Plan of the dean of Utrecht University. The master program Neuroscience and Cognition is a member of the NENS and I have attended the annual general meeting in Copenhagen. To increase international exposure of the master programs within the Graduate School of Life Sciences, I have (together with dr. Mariken de Krom) developed an online course (Essentials of Clinical Neuroscience) for advanced bachelor and master students. This course is a pilot project within the GSLS and the idea is that all master programs will develop an Essentials course, to increase the international visibility of the GSLS.

Research interests

I am interested in cellular and synaptic plasticity: I want to know how neurons integrate synaptic signals and convert these signals into output signals (action potentials). Plasticity of neural circuits plays an important role during development, learning and ongoing behavior. Unraveling the mechanisms underlying plasticity is fundamental in understanding the physiology of learning and memory and pathophysiology of neurological diseases (e. g. addiction). My aim is to delineate specific processes involved in synaptic and cellular plasticity and eventually the role of these processes in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Whole cell patch-clamp in vitro in combination with optogenetic manipulations are primarily used to study these phenomena. These studies are carried out in close collaboration with other members of the department Translational Neuroscience and the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus.

Selected Publications

Stage-specific functions of Semaphorin7A during adult hippocampal neurogenesis rely on distinct receptors. Jongbloets BC, Lemstra S, Schellino R, Broekhoven MH, Parkash J, Hellemons AJ, Mao T, Giacobini P, van Praag H, De Marchis S, Ramakers GM, Pasterkamp RJ. Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 10; 8:14666. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14666.

Modulation of cue-induced firing of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons by leptin and ghrelin. van der Plasse G, van Zessen R, Luijendijk MC, Erkan H, Stuber GD, Ramakers GM, Adan RA. Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 Dec; 39(12) :1742-9. doi: 10.1038/ijo. 2015.131.

Neutral antagonism at the cannabinoid 1 receptor: a safer treatment for obesity. Meye FJ, Trezza V, Vanderschuren LJ, Ramakers GM, Adan RA. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Dec; 18(12) :1294-301. doi: 10.1038/mp. 2012.145.

Physiology of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the human brain. Hoogendam JM, Ramakers GM, Di Lazzaro V. Brain Stimul. 2010 Apr; 3(2) :95-118. doi: 10.1016/j. brs. 2009.10.005.

Presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors regulate glutamatergic input to dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. de Rover M, Meye FJ, Ramakers GM. Neuroscience. 2008 Jul 17; 154(4) :1318-23. doi:10.1016/j. neuroscience. 2008.04.055.

Insulin signaling in the central nervous system: learning to survive. van der Heide LP, Ramakers GM, Smidt MP. Prog Neurobiol. 2006 Jul; 79(4) :205-21.

Insulin modulates hippocampal activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in a N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor and phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinase-dependent manner. van der Heide LP, Kamal A, Artola A, Gispen WH, Ramakers GM. J Neurochem. 2005 Aug; 94(4) :1158-66.

Increased GABAergic input to ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons associated with decreased cocaine reinforcement in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice. Mathon DS, Lesscher HM, Gerrits MA, Kamal A, Pintar JE, Schuller AG, Spruijt BM, Burbach JP, Smidt MP, van Ree JM, Ramakers GM. Neuroscience. 2005; 130(2) :359-67.

Place learning and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Biessels GJ, Kamal A, Ramakers GM, Urban IJ, Spruijt BM, Erkelens DW, Gispen WH. Diabetes. 1996 Sep; 45(9) :1259-66.

Temporal differences in the phosphorylation state of pre- and postsynaptic protein kinase C substrates B-50/ GAP-43 and neurogranin during long-term potentiation. Ramakers GM, De Graan PN, Urban IJ, Kraay D, Tang T, Pasinelli P, Oestreicher AB, Gispen WH. J Biol Chem. 1995 Jun 9; 270(23) :13892-8.

Geert Ramakers

Brain Center Rudolf Magnus
Department of Translational Neuroscience
UMC Utrecht
Heidelberglaan 100, HP: Str 4.205
3508 GA Utrecht
the Netherlands