Chris de Zeeuw

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Chris De Zeeuw is professor, medical doctor, chair of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, and vice-director of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts & Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam. He is interested in the role of cerebellum in motor control. His work is critical for understanding diseases like ataxia, because without understanding how the cerebellum works and how it interacts with other brain regions during movement control, we will never understand how we as humans can suffer from these devastating motor disorders. During such motor coordination aberrations, we cannot create and employ the internal models in our cerebellum that are fine-tuned to prepare and execute movements at the highest possible temporal resolution. It is the ambition of Prof. De Zeeuw to break the fundamental ground on which optimal motor coordination is based. It will be done at such a detailed and mechanistic level that the insights can be used not only for strategizing potential therapies of diseases like ataxia, but also for bio-inspired robotics and brain-machine-interfacing.

The internationally recognized contributions of De Zeeuw to the field of behavior and neurosciences are also reflected by the fact that he obtained many prestigious awards. For example, in 2001, he received the PIONIER Award of NWO-MW/ZonMW, being ranked number 1 of all medical scientists in the Netherlands; in 2006, he received personally from Her Majesty, Queen Beatrix, the so-called Beatrix Award, which was given to the Dutch scientist with the best performance in the field of neuroscience and movement control over the 50-year period from 1956 to 2006; in 2012, he received an ERC-advanced grant on neuronal encoding mechanisms, in 2014 he was elected as an Academy Member (KNAW), and in 2020 he received the NWO-LSH grant for Brain Machine interfacing (INTENSE), which is also ranked #1 in the country. The main applicant has published 3 books on the cerebellum and over 450 papers, many of which in high-ranked Journals such as Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Science, TINS, Nature Reviews, Nature Genetics and Cell; he has an H-index of over 90 with an average citation score per item of over 45, totaling over 20.000 citations.