Profile photo Niels Eijkelkamp

Niels Eijkelkamp

Associate Professor


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.

Research groups

Microbial genomics and metagenomics

Research aim

We develop novel genomic methods for reconstructing and tracking antimicrobial resistance genes by building bioinformatics tools to facilitate data analysis of massive sequence data sets of pathogens and microbiomes.
Go to group

Chronification of pain - Clinical Research

Research aim

Our group aims to integrate fundamental research and clinical pain studies with a focus on neuroinflammation to design strategies preventing and reversing the transition from acute to chronic pain in patients.
Go to group

Chronification of pain - Neuroimmunology of pain

Research aim

Our research groups integrate fundamental research and clinical pain studies to understand the neurobiology of chronic pain. We focus on the interactions between the immune system and the nervous system to defeat chronic pain.
Go to group

Recent publications

NLRP3 inflammasome activation in sensory neurons promotes chronic inflammatory and osteoarthritis pain Patrícia Silva Santos Ribeiro, Hanneke L D M Willemen, Sabine Versteeg, Christian Martin Gil, Niels Eijkelkamp
Immunotherapy advances, 2023, vol. 3
Effects of mesenchymal stem cells and heparan sulfate mimetics on urethral function and vaginal wall biomechanics in a simulated rat childbirth injury model Kristine Janssen, Geertruida W. van Ruiten, Niels Eijkelkamp, Margot S. Damaser, Carl H. van der Vaart
International Urogynecology Journal, 2023, vol. 34, p.1635-1644
Myostatin and CXCL11 promote nervous tissue macrophages to maintain osteoarthritis pain Christian Martín Gil, Ramin Raoof, Sabine Versteeg, Hanneke L D M Willemen, Floris P J G Lafeber, Simon C Mastbergen, Niels Eijkelkamp
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2023, vol. 116, p.203-215
Insights into FcγR involvement in pain-like behavior induced by an RA-derived anti-modified protein autoantibody Alexandra Jurczak, Katalin Sandor, Alex Bersellini Farinotti, Emerson Krock, Matthew A Hunt, Nilesh M Agalave, Julie Barbier, Nils Simon, Zhenggang Wang, Resti Rudjito, Juan Antonio Vazquez-Mora, Arisai Martinez-Martinez, Ramin Raoof, Niels Eijkelkamp, Caroline Grönwall, Lars Klareskog, Juan Miguel Jimenéz-Andrade, Fabien Marchand, Camilla I Svensson
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2023, vol. 113, p.212-227
Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells-derived extracellular vesicles as a potentially more beneficial therapeutic strategy than MSC-based treatment in a mild metabolic osteoarthritis model Kelly Warmink, Jaqueline L. Rios, Suzy Varderidou-Minasian, Marta Torres-Torrillas, Devin R. van Valkengoed, Sabine Versteeg, Niels Eijkelkamp, Harrie Weinans, Nicoline M. Korthagen, Magdalena J. Lorenowicz
Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 2023, vol. 14
Human IAPP is a contributor to painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy Mohammed Mh Albariqi, Sabine Versteeg, Elisabeth M Brakkee, J Henk Coert, Barend Ow Elenbaas, Judith Prado, C Erik Hack, Jo Wm Höppener, Niels Eijkelkamp
Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2023, vol. 133

Fellowships & Awards

2007: G protein-coupled receptor kinase 6 controls post-inflammatory visceral hyperalgesia in mice