The overall objective of my research is to unravel the complex interactions between the musculoskeletal and neural systems during movement. For this purpose, both animal and human models are exploited. It has been my unique focus to study the mechanical and sensory action of skeletal muscles, not in isolation but in their in vivo context.
I have contributed to (i) our understanding of the different pathways via which forces produced by muscle fibers are transmitted to our skeleton, in particular to the mechanisms and functional relevance of epimuscular force transmission; (ii) to the sensorimotor consequences of peripheral nerve injury and repair; (iii) to the mechanical and neural changes following an agonist-to-antagonist tendon transfer; (iv) to effects of spasticity on muscle morphology and joint mechanics; (v) our understanding of the neuromechanics of single finger movements.
I have supervised 5 PhD students and have (co-) authored over 60 papers in international scientific journals. I am serving on several editorial boards and I am a committee member of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme VENI of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
Currently my research is centered around four themes: 1) encoding muscle state and limb position by muscle sensory feedback, 2) hand and finger motor control, 3) three-dimensional tendon structure and mechanical properties, 4) effects of stroke on neuromuscular control and muscle mechanics.
I obtained a M.Sc. (1999) and Ph.D. (2003) degree in Human Movement Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After postdoctoral fellowships at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (USA) and Northwestern University in Chicago (USA), I returned in 2008 to the Department of Human Movement Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where I am currently an Associate Professor. I received the personal Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant (2007), the personal VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (2010) and I was a PhD supervisor in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Programme Move-Age (2013-2018).