Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Joey Zuijdervelt

PhD candidate

J.L. Zuijdervelt MSc
+31 71 527 6227

I’m a molecular geneticist with a foundation in biology, having obtained my BSc in Biology here in Leiden, where I was first introduced to the fascinating world of life sciences. My undergraduate studies sparked a deep interest in cell biology, cancer research, cell signalling, molecular genetics, and developmental biology. Alongside my academic pursuits, I've always harboured a passionate hobby in ecology, biodiversity, and evolution, exploring the diversity of both plant and animal species—I’m a biologist after all. Following my bachelor's degree, I further specialized by obtaining an MSc in Biology, concentrating on molecular genetics and biotechnology. This phase of my education allowed me to delve into cancer research using our renowned zebrafish model under Ewa Snaar-Jagalska, as well as explore developmental biology and rare disease through the lens of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) under Micha Drukker, where I’m currently working as a PhD-candidate.  

More information about Joey Zuijdervelt

Research Themes

I’m interested in multiple biological themes. My focus is on pain signaling in the peripheral nervous system, where I’m working to understand the pathophysiology of chronic pain. By integrating high resolution spatial transcriptomics, advanced neuro-anatomical approaches, and stem cell technologies, including iPSCs and organ-on-a-chip models, I’m trying to create comprehensive models for pain perpetuation.
Additionally, I’m interested in unravelling the mechanisms of an extremely rare but severe developmental disorder: Bohring-Opitz Syndrome. This disorder is attributed to germline mutations in the ASXL1 gene, a gene that’s also linked to clonal haematopoiesis and leukemia. Combining computational tools like AlphaFold2, and experimental systems like iPSCs and zebrafish, we aim to understand the role of ASXL1 in early embryonal development and neural crest differentiation.

These combined efforts are aimed at unlocking new therapeutic avenues and deepening our understanding of neural crest development, self-renewal and lineage specification.


  • ASXL Research Symposium travel grant (2022)
  • Schild-De Groen Onderzoeksprijzen, 1st prize (2024)

PhD candidate

  • Science
  • Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research
  • LACDR/Toxicology

Work address

Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
Room number EM2.20


  • No relevant ancillary activities
This website uses cookies.  More information.