Frank van Bel, PhD

Editorial Board Member

Department of Neonatology,
Medical University Center Utrecht,
The Nederlands

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Department / University Information


Frank van Bel is a full professor and former director of the Department of Neonatology of the Medical University Center Utrecht in Utrecht , The Netherlands, since 1997. Currently involved in 2 large reseach Projects on Pharmacologic Neuroprotection (Horizon 2020) and Stem cell Therapy (Zon MW). He did his thesis defense in 1987: Cerebral Doppler studies in perinatology. Before his current position, he worked as a neonatologist at the Leiden university Medical Center, did experimental Research in the Hemodynamic Lab of Prof J. Baan (newborn lambs) and was a visiting scientist at the University of southern California (1987) and at the University of California at San Francisco (1991-1992) were he was involved in brain research of the preterm lamb fetus in the lab of Prof. A Rudolph. Dr. Frank van Bel's current research is concentrated on the newborn brain and is two-fold: A) Noninvasive research concerning brain oxygenation and (systemic) hemodynamics using Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and brain function (amplitude EEG). The research in this field focuses on implementation of NIRS and aEEG in daily clinical care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He and his research team have an international reputation in this field; B) concerns research of mechamisms of perinatal brain damage and, related to this issue, neuroprotective strategies involving pharmacological neuroprotection as well as neuronal regeneration of manipulated stem cells. He is, among other research projects, PI of 3 funded projects on “Regeneration of brain damage using allogeneic stem cell transplantation” (P9 mice); Pharmacologic neuroprotection after hypoxia-ischemia investigated in the rat (P7) and mice (P9) pup” and ”Long term effects of neonatal corticoid treatment”(clinical follow-up of 15-20 y old ex-premies) respectively. Dr. Frank van Bel is currently involved as a national coördinator and senior scientific advisor in a recently awarded EU Horizon 2020 grant concerning early neuroprotection after perinatal asphyxia with Allopurinol. Until April 2015 he was chairman of the Department of Neonatology (later Perinatal Center UMCU), member of the Management Team of the Division of Woman & Baby (up to 2013), including the Departments of Obstetrics, Neonatology, In Vitro Fertilisation and Gynaecology, and the PsychoNeuroImmunology Laboratory and had various teaching tasks. From April 2015 onward he is retired but is continuing his research activities as a research Professor. He further was chief-editor of the “Dutch Ultrasonoor Bulletin”, of the “European Journal of Ultrasound” and of the “Dutch Journal of Paediatrics”. Currently he is a member of the Editorial Boards of “Neonatology”and “Current Paediatric Reviews” He is reviewing many manuscripts of various international peer-reviewed journals. Professor van Bel is member of the European and American Societies of Paediatric Research and European Neonatal Brain Club and has various professional connections with other European and American research groups in the perinatal field (Gothenburg; Copenhagen, Zürich, Leuven (Belgium), Sienna (Italy), Los Angeles (USC), the University of Stanford and the Primate Center at San Antonio (Tx). Dr. van Bel has edited around 276 international peer reviewed publications and has been frequently invited for presentations in the field of perinatal neonatal neurology all over the world. 

Research Interest

Perinatal Neurology: Noninvasive Brain oxygenation/Neuroprotection and brain repair with Cell therapy

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Stefano Stagi Won-Ho Hahn, PhD

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