Erik  Keimpema


During his PhD, Erik Keimpema has been studying lipid signaling in the developing fetal brain with a focus on cortical pyramidal cells. He investigated endocannabinoid signaling, and how their release and control leads to axonal pathfinding and synaptogenesis. After his PhD, his research interests expanded into developmental neuropeptide signaling (galanin, cholecystokinin, oxytocin), neurodevelopmental disorders (Down syndrome, Angelman syndrome) and novel model organisms including the naked mole rat. Currently he is continuing his research on lipid signaling in salivary glands and studies the development of hypothalamic neurons and astrocytes as well as the impact of psychoactive drugs (cannabis) on brain circuit formation and rewiring. His ultimate goal is to understand how psychoactive drugs affect neuronal functioning during developmental processes, and how they can reopen plasticity windows in adult brain circuitry.