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Tjakko van Ham, PhD

Dr. Tjakko J. van Ham Afbeelding
Assistant Professor

Department of Clinical Genetics
Erasmus MC
Faculty Building, Ee942
Wytemaweg 80

3015 CN Rotterdam 

The Netherlands

Email: t.vanham@erasmusmc.nl
Tel: +31 (0) 10 704 4628



Tjakko van Ham obtained his PhD (2009) in the lab of Ellen Nollen at the Genetics department, UMCG (Groningen) on genetic mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease by using genetic screening in C. elegans models as a tool. He performed his postdoc on zebrafish models for brain disease in the lab of Randall Peterson at Harvard Medical School (Boston), a pioneer in small molecule screening and zebrafish disease models. Subsequently, funded by a VENI fellowship he initiated zebrafish research in the lab of Ben Giepmans at the department of Cell Biology (UMCG). As of May 2014 he is an independent group leader at the Clinical Genetics department, Erasmus MC (Rotterdam).

The immune system has many functions beyond protecting us against pathogens, including the remodeling and repair of tissues. In the central nervous system it is unclear how immune cells influence homeostasis, health and disease due to a lack of in vivo insight. In particular it is unclear how functional states of immune cells can directly influence the outcome of brain injury or disease related processes and how these functional states can be steered modified to benefit recovery and repair of brain tissue. The tools and findings from the zebrafish studies mentioned above represent the basis of our current research in understanding and controlling interactions of the immune system with the healthy, diseased and aging brain.

Keywords: microglia, zebrafish, transcriptomics, functional genetics, Alzheimer's, macrophages, neuroinflammation, glia, neuronal cell death, neurodegenerative disease, brain disease, neuronal engulfment


EUR Fellowship 2017

Monitor December 2016 'Glashelder inzicht' page 36-40

'Identification of a conserved and acute neurodegeneration-specific microglial transcriptome in the zebrafish' published

Alzheimer Nederland: Onderzoek: wat levert het op? 2-11-2015

BCN - Newsletter Interview

Video 'Onderzoek naar hersenziektes' (Source: UMCG and Youtube)

How mini-fish grows into a full-fledged test animal, Published February 27 2018


How mini-fish grows into a full-fledged test animal, Published February 27 2018
Video How mini-fish grows into a full-fledged experimental animal, Dr. Tjakko van Ham from the Department of Clinical Genetics at Erasmus MC can see how the research works with zebrafish.