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G.J. (Gerben) Schaaf


  • Department
  • Center for Lysosomal and Metabolic Diseases



I received my MSc (cum laude) at Utrecht University. As a Postdoc I focused on the biology of rhabdomyosarcomas at Amsterdam University Medical Center. With a Veni-award from NWO (Dutch Research Council) I did my Postdoctoral training in muscle stem cell biology in the lab of Thomas Rando at the Stanford School of Medicine. Since 2012, I work as senior scientist at the Center for Lysosomal and Metabolic and Diseases at the Department of Pediatrics at Erasmus MC and focuses on disease mechanisms and novel therapies for lysosomal storage diseases.

The current research focuses on muscle stem cell biology in the context of neuromuscular disease. We have recently developed a method to reinduce regenerative potential in ex vivo expanded muscle cells, a promising step towards development of cell therapy for muscle disorders. We have an interest in increasing the knowledge on Danon disease, in order to explore presumed therapeutic modalities. Gerben is vice-director and board member of the MSc Master’s programme “Molecular Medicine”. He is an expert panel member for FWO (Research Foundation Flanders) and coordinated the accreditation of NFU (The Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres) expertise centers for the Erasmus MC.

Field(s) of expertise

  • Muscle stem cell biology, muscle regeneration,
  • Pompe disease,
  • Danon disease, stem cell transplantation, flow cytometry, animal models.

Education and career

Graduated cum laude from the Faculty of Biology (Utrecht University).

Postdoc positions at the Amsterdam University Medical Center.

Trainee at Erasmus MC Stem Cell Institute.

Teaching activities

Teacher of several courses (biology of disease, research topics) of the Molecular Medicine Master’s programme.

Teacher of the regenerative biology course (Utrecht University) and School of Applied Sciences.

Other positions

  • Vice-director and board member of the Molecular Medicine Master’s programme.
  • Expert panel member PhD grant committee (FWO).
  • Steering committee member Erasmus MC Center for Rare Diseases.

Scholarships, grants, and awards

  • 2006: Veni-award
  • 2016: Genzyme Research Agreement
  • 2019: Stofwisselkracht grant
  • 2020: Erasmus MC MRACE pilot grant
  • 2021: PBS grant

My Groups