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Our current research aims at elucidating how cellular lipid metabolism impacts inflammatory and repair processes within the central nervous system (CNS) with a focus on Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

During MS, macrophages infiltrate the brain and together with microglia, the resident immune cells of the CNS, degrade myelin, an insulating layer surrounding nerves that is important for the propagation of action potentials.  Myelin breakdown, also called demyelination, leads to failure of nerve conduction and to a wide range of clinical symptoms such as loss of vision and muscle weakness. Besides contributing to demyelination, macrophages and microglia can also promote repair of damaged tissue (remyelination) by clearing myelin debris and secreting anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors.

Myelin consists for the major part of lipids, such as cholesterol and fatty acids. In MS, a disturbed lipid metabolism is detected. However, little is known about the cause of this disturbance and the impact it has on disease progression. Our findings show that lipids present in myelin alter the function of macrophages and microglia. By targeting the underlying pathways a beneficial  macrophage phenotype can be induced that slows down lesion progression and stimulates repair. Interestingly, specific nutritional components impact lipid metabolism and immune cell function and thus provide a promising strategy to limit lesion progression and promote CNS repair. Current research focusses on further elucidating metabolic pathways that direct immune cell function and to translate current findings into therapeutic applications.

We aim to:

1) determine the role of cholesterol and fatty acids in CNS inflammation, demyelination and remyelination.

2) study how dietary components affect CNS lipid metabolism and the function of resident brain cells.

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE): mouse model of CNS inflammation

Cuprizone model: mouse model of de- and remyelination

Organotypic brain slice cultures- ex vivo model of remyelination

Primary cell cultures of oligodendrocytes, microglia and astrocytes

Macrophage inflammatory and metabolic phenotyping

Dr. Jeroen Bogie

As a PhD student at Hasselt University, Jeroen Bogie defined the physiology of macrophages in multiple sclerosis (MS). He established thatmyelin-containing macrophages suppress autoreactive T cell proliferation andthat lipid-sensing nuclear receptors are key in driving the functionalproperties of macrophages in MS lesions. In 2014, he started a post-doctoralposition at Rotterdam University. Here, he assessed the impact of plant sterolson Alzheimer’s disease. In 2015, Jeroen obtained a FWO postdoctoral grant tocontinue on findings that emanated from his PhD project. Currently, he defines the impact of fatty acid metabolism on the functional properties of macrophagesand T cells in MS. 

Dr. Mansour Haidar

Mansour obtained an MSc in neuroscience from the University of Strasbourg in France, and a PhD in biochemistry and biotechnology from the University of Antwerp in Belgium. During his PhD he studied autophagy and proteostasis in neurodegeneration. He joined the group end of 2018 bringing with him this expertise to the field of neuroinflammation and macrophage metabolism. 

PhD students

Elien Grajchen

Aida Garcia Corrales

Tess Dierckx

Sam Vanherle

Melanie Loix



Marie-Paule Tulleners

Laura Dusaer




Jeroen F.J. Bogie , Elien Grajchen , Elien Wouters , Aida Garcia Corrales , Tess Dierckx , Sam Vanherle , Jo Mailleux , Pascal Gervois,  , Esther Wolfs , Jonas Dehairs , Jana Van Broeckhoven, , Andrew P. Bowman, Ivo Lambrichts , Jan-Åke Gustafsson , Alan T. Remaley, Monique Mulder, Johannes V. Swinnen , Mansour Haidar, Shane R. Ellis , James M. Ntambi , Noam Zelcer, Jerome J.A. Hendriks. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 impairs the reparative properties of macrophages and microglia in the brain. J Exp Med (2020) 217 (5): e20191660. (IF 10.9)


Bogie JFJ, Haidar M, Kooij G*, Hendriks JJA*. Fatty acid metabolism in the progression and resolution of CNS disorders. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2020 Jan 25. pii: S0169-409X(20)30006-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2020.01.004. (IF15.6) *equal contribution


Wouters E*, de Wit NM*, Vanmol J, van der Pol SMA, van Het Hof B, Sommer D, Loix M, Geerts D, Gustafsson JA, Steffensen KR, Vanmierlo T, Bogie JFJ, Hendriks JJA*, de Vries HE*. Liver X Receptor Alpha Is Important in Maintaining Blood-Brain Barrier Function. Front Immunol. 2019 Jul 31;10:1811. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01811. (IF 4.7) *equal contribution.


Grajchen E, Hendriks JJA, Bogie JFJ. The physiology of foamy phagocytes in multiple sclerosis. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2018 Nov 19;6(1):124 doi: 10.1186/s40478-018-0628-8. Review. (IF 5.36)


Jo Mailleux,  Silke Timmermans,  Katherine Nelissen,  Jasmine Vanmol,  Tim Vanmierlo,  Jack van Horssen, Jeroen FJ Bogie and  Jerome JA Hendriks. Low-density lipoprotein receptor deficiency attenuates neuroinflammation through the induction of apolipoprotein  Front Immunol. 2017 Nov 30;8:1701. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01701. (IF 4.7)


Mailleux J, Vanmierlo T, Bogie JF, Wouters E, Lütjohann D, Hendriks JJA*, van Horssen J*. Active liver X receptor signaling in phagocytes in multiple sclerosis lesions. Mult Scler. 2017 Feb 1 (IF 4.8) *equal contribution


Jorissen W, Wouters E, Bogie JF, Vanmierlo T, Noben JP, Sviridov D, Hellings N, Somers V, Valcke R, Vanwijmeersch B, Stinissen P, Mulder MT, Remaley AT, Hendriks JJA. Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients display an altered lipoprotein profile with dysfunctional HDL. Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 23;7:43410. (IF 4.2)


Vanmierlo T, Bogie J, Mailleux J, Vanmol J, Lütjohann D, Mulder MT, Hendriks JJA. Plant sterols: friend or foe in CNS disorders? Progress in Lipid Research 2015 (IF 13.0)


Bogie JF, Stinissen P, Hendriks JJA. Macrophage subsets and microglia in multiple sclerosis. Acta Neuropathol. 2014 Aug;128(2):191-213. (IF 10.7)


Timmermans S, Bogie JF, Vanmierlo T, Lütjohann D, Stinissen P, Hellings N, Hendriks JJA. High Fat Diet Exacerbates Neuroinflammation in an Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis by Activation of the Renin Angiotensin System. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013 Sep 26. (IF 3.8)


Myelin alters the inflammatory phenotype of macrophages by activating PPARs. Bogie JFJ, Jorissen  W, Mailleux  J, Nijland PG, Zelcer  N, Vanmierlo  T, Van Horssen  J, Stinissen  P, Hellings  N, Hendriks JJA. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2013 Aug 2;1(1):43. (IF 5.36)


Bogie JF, Timmermans S, Huynh-Thu V, Irrthum A, Smeets HJM, Gustafsson JA, Steffensen KR, Mulder MT, Stinissen P, Hellings N, Hendriks JJA. Myelin-Derived Lipids Modulate Macrophage Activity by Liver X Receptor Activation. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44998. (IF 3.8)

The Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences of Hasselt University seeks a (m/f/x)

post-doctoral researcher (neuro)immunology

The faculty of medicine and life sciences contributes to sustainable solutions for health-related issues as part of the civic Hasselt University. The faculty focuses on excellence in education and research and connects with society through a strong collaboration with our partners. Starting from continuous attention for quality and innovation, the faculty is a breeding ground and magnet for talent with an open view on society, from the region to the world.


The Biomedical Research Institute (BIOMED) of Hasselt University conducts high level multidisciplinary research to advance progress in human life sciences. High-end technology is used to deliver novel insights in three main disease areas: (neuro)immunology, neuroscience and cardiovascular disease. BIOMED aims to translate new scientific discoveries into applications that contribute to a healthy society in line with the civic ambition of Hasselt University. Within this stimulating environment, the Neuro-immunometabolism lab is looking for an enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher to strengthen our team.


Job content
Within our research group we aim to elucidate how lipid metabolism directs inflammatory and repair processes within the central nervous system, and how nutritional components modulate these processes. For our research we make use of in vitro model systems, animal models and human cells and tissues. Techniques used include: molecular techniques, qPCR, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, lipidomics and RNA sequencing. We seek a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher who complements the expertise within our research group. Besides doing high quality research you will supervise PhD students and master students, and will participate in writing grants and teaching within our faculty.


  • You have a PhD in (bio)medical sciences (or equivalent). Last year PhD students can also apply.
  • You have a solid junior track record with high impact publications relevant for the research topic.
  • Expertise in neuroimmunology, macrophage/microglia biology, lipid metabolism, animal models or nutritional research is an asset.
  • You have excellent writing and communication skills in English.
  • You have good problem solving capacities.
  • You show initiative.
  • Excellent project management skills. C
  • ritical mindset, fast learner & team player.
  • You are motivated to apply for personal fellowship (Marie-Curie, EMBO, or national funding organizations).

You will be appointed and paid as post-doctoral researcher. We offer a 2 year contract, with the possibility of extension after successfully applying for postdoctoral grants.
UHasselt offers its employees numerous staff benefits.

Selection procedure 
You can only apply online up to and including 04 June 2021. The selection procedure consists of a preselection based on application file and an interview.

Further information Prof. dr. Jerome HENDRIKS, ,jerome.hendriks@uhasselt.be




Are you interested in the research that we do?

We are always on the look for motivated students, PhD students and postdocs. Current vacancies will be posted here, and at https://www.uhasselt.be/vacancies. Also, we provide support in applying for PhD or postdoctoral fellowships. Contact us to discuss the possibilities.