Prof. dr. Jean-Michel RIGO

Prof. dr. Jean-Michel RIGO

Over mezelf

I was born on December 4th, 1964. I studied biology at the University of Liège and received my PhD in 1994 for a work in cellular and molecular physiology for which I developed in Liège the patch-clamp technique that I learned in Helmut Kettenmann’s lab in Heidelberg. I was then appointed as an associate professor in Physiology (“premier assistant” and then “chef de travaux”) at the University of Liège. In 2002, I went for a sabbatical research period to the laboratory of Pascal Legendre at the University Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris to study glycinergic neurotransmission using advanced molecular electrophysiology. In 2004, I joined the physiology group at Hasselt University to develop an independent research program in neurobiology. I became head of the group in 2009 and full professor in 2010.
My research in neurobiology concerns the plasticity of excitability in brain development and regeneration. In close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Bert Brône, we study neuronal and microglial aspects in the etiology of autism and schizophrenia. In a first research line, the lab discovered the glycine receptor subunit alpha2 as an essential component for embryonic brain development and that its loss of function induces dysfunction of neuronal circuits involved in autism spectrum disorder. In a second research line, microglia are studied as immune mediators contributing to neurodevelopmental diseases.
I authored 116 peer-reviewed publications (ORCID ID: and have been (co)promoter of 25 PhD’s and (co)investigator for 59 research contracts.
I teach, among other, general physiology and neurosciences to (bio)medical students at Hasselt University. Since my position in Liège, I have also developed expertise in self-learning methods, e-learning and virtual labs.
Besides neurobiology, I also have expertise in research and development in the domain of teaching and learning, and especially in evaluation. As a teacher, I introduced and helped developing an Assessment Managment System (DOCIMO), which is now used for all modules of the medicine program, for learning assessment. As a vice-rector in charge of Education, I reformed the university system of teaching assessment. In 2022, I went for a sabbatical research period to the Haute Ecole Pédagogique of the canton of Vaud in Lausanne to develop research in engineering of evaluations of trainings with Prof. Jean-Luc Gilles.
From 2009 to 2012, I headed the department of Physiology-Immunology-Biochemistry and the education management team of the master in biomedical sciences, and I was vice-dean of the Shool of Life Sciences (Transnational University of Limburg). Since 2006, I have also been actively involved in development cooperation projects (RD Congo, Vietnam and Morocco).
From 2012 to 2016, I was vice-rector of Education and of Internationalization, and from 2016 to 2020, I was vice-rector of Research and Internationalization at Hasselt University. Since 2020, I am director of the doctoral school for Health and Life Sciences.


Disciplinecodes: Ontwikkelingsneurowetenschappen (03012303), Neurofysiologie (03012306), Fysiologie (01060602), Celfysiologie (03013001), Elektrofysiologie (03013002), Fysiologische biofysica (03010403), Curriculum en pedagogiek van wetenschappen, technologie en ingenieurswetenschappen (05030111), Hoger onderwijs (05030204)

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Academiejaar 2023 - 2024

Academiejaar 2022 - 2023