dr. K. Broersen (Kerensa)

Associate Professor

About Me

I am working in the Nanobiophysics group as an associate professor where I head a subgroup of researchers interested in the biochemistry of protein aggregation. I was trained as a biochemist and obtained my PhD in food chemistry from Wageningen University in The Netherlands. After this I moved to the Medical Research Council - Laboratory of Molecular Biology to work for two years as a postdoc with Bazbek Davletov and Michel Goedert on the aggregation of alpha-synuclein, a protein involved in Parkinson's disease, as a function of a number of membrane-enriched fatty acids. I then worked for three and a half years, first as a postdoc, later as an assistant professor, in the Switch Laboratory, headed by Frederic Rousseau and Joost Schymkowitz, at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB). Since 2011 I work in the Nanobiophysics Group at the Science and Technology faculty at the University of Twente. This group was first headed by Vinod Subramaniam and since 2013 by Mireille Claessens.  


Alzheimer Disease
Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Beta-Strand Protein Conformation
Amyloid Beta-Peptides


Together with my team I am interested in studying the biochemistry of protein aggregation. We aim at seeking answers to biological protein aggregation-related questions using a combination of biochemistry, biophysics, nanotechnology and single molecule approaches. Typical questions we address in our team include:

- what is the mechanistic background of clinically identified risk factors for Alzheimer's disease?

- how do neighboring cells communicate their disease status to ultimately, in late disease stages, span the entire brain?

- how do cells of the immune system and neurons interact to give rise to neuroinflammation?

- how can we explain the molecular basis of the connection between neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration?

- how does the microbiome affect brain health?


We are embedded in the faculty of Science and Technology in the Nanobiophysics group.

Our research is financed by ZonMw (Memorabel - Deltaplan Dementie), Internationale Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek (ISAO) (in collaboration with Ulrich Eisel), Alzheimer Nederland, Fulbright, MIRA, UTWIST fellowship, Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen, Nutricia Research Foundation, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (in collaboration with Francisco Conejero-Lara), NWO Zwaartekracht (organ-on-chip initiative - in collaboration with Christine Mummery and Albert van de Berg), SFI Career Development Award Programme (in collaboration with Damien Thompson).


Gera, J., Szögi, T., Bozsó, Z., Fülöp, L., Barrera, E. E., Rodriguez, A. M., ... Enriz, R. D. (2018). Searching for improved mimetic peptides inhibitors preventing conformational transition of amyloid-β42 monomer. Bioorganic Chemistry, 81, 211-221. DOI: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2018.08.018
Broersen, K., Ruipérez, V., & Davletov, B. (2018). Structural and aggregation properties of Alpha-Synuclein linked to phospholipase A2 action. Protein and Peptide Letters, 25(4), 368-378. DOI: 10.2174/0929866525666180326120052
Teodorowicz, M., Perdijk, O., Verhoek, I., Govers, C., Savelkoul, H. F. J., Tang, Y., ... Broersen, K. (2017). Optimized triton X-114 assisted lipopolysaccharide (LPS) removal method reveals the immunomodulatory effect of food proteins. PLoS ONE, 12(3), [0173778]. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173778
Ruzafa, D., Hernandez-Gomez, Y. S., Bisello, G., Broersen, K., Morel, B., & Conejero-Lara, F. (2017). The influence of N-terminal acetylation on micelle-induced conformational changes and aggregation of α-Synuclein. PLoS ONE, 12(5), [e0178576]. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178576
Hubin, E., Cioffi, F., Rozenski, J., Van Nuland, N. A. J., & Broersen, K. (2016). Characterization of insulin-degrading enzyme-mediated cleavage of Aβ in distinct aggregation states. Biochimica et biophysica acta. General subjects, 1860(6), 1281-1290. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2016.03.010
Hubin, E., Vanschoenwinkel, B., Broersen, K., de Deyn, P. P., Koedam, N., van Nuland, N., & Pauwels, K. (2016). Could ecosystem management provide a new framework for Alzheimer's disease?Alzheimer's & dementia, 12(1), 65-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2015.07.491
Barrera Guisasola, E. E., Andujar, S., Hubin, E., Broersen, K., Kraan, Y. M., Mendez, L., ... Enriz, R. D. (2015). New mimetic peptides inhibitors of Aβ aggregation: Molecular guidance for rational drug design. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 95, 136-152. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2015.03.042
Hubin, E., Deroo, S., Schierle, G. K., Kaminski, C., Serpell, L., Subramaniam, V., ... Sarroukh, R. (2015). Two distinct ß-sheet structures in Italian-mutant amyloid-beta fibrils: a potential link to different clinical phenotypes. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 72(24), 4899-4913. DOI: 10.1007/s00018-015-1983-2
Cioffi, F., Rodriguez, A. M., Masman, M. F., Enriz, R. D., & Broersen, K. (2015). The multifactorial character of Alzheimer's disease. -.
Hubin, E., van Nuland, N. A. J., Broersen, K., & Pauwels, K. (2014). Transient dynamics of Abeta contribute to toxicity in Alzheimer's disease. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 71(18), 3507-3521. DOI: 10.1007/s00018-014-1634-z
Adrover, M., Marino, L., Sanchis, P., Pauwels, K., Kraan, Y. M., Lebrun, P., ... Donoso, J. (2014). Mechanistic insights in glycation-induced protein aggregation. Biomacromolecules, 15(9), 3449-3462. DOI: 10.1021/bm501077j
Sarroukh, R., Hubin, E., Serpell, L. C., van Nuland, N., Broersen, K., & Raussens, V. (2014). Alzheimer's disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy, doppelgangers?. 86-. DOI: 10.1002/pro.2504
Hubin, E., Sarroukh, R., de Roo, S., Raussens, V., van Nuland, N., & Broersen, K. (2013). Antiparallel beta-sheet architecture of italian-mutant amyloid-beta fibrils. -.
Hubin, E., Sarroukh, R., de Roo, S., Raussens, V., van Nuland, N., & Broersen, K. (2013). Antiparallel beta-sheet architecture of italian-mutant amyloid-beta fibrils. -.

UT Research Information System


- Biochemistry for first year BSc Biomedical Technology

- Biochemistry for third year BSc Chemical Technology

- Module coordinator of Molecular Construction of the Human Body

Affiliated Study Programmes



In the press

RTV Oost:

1. Interview, 20 September 2016 (with a video of our work in Dutch): www.rtvoost.nl/pl.aspx?nid=252520


2. Newsitem on our ZonMw grant, 07 October 2014: http://www.rtvoost.nl/tag/alzheimer?nid=200263


UT Nieuws:

3. 7 October 2014: http://www.utnieuws.nl/nieuws/60561/Negen_ton_naar_onderzoek_Alzheimer

4. 5 February 2016: http://www.utnieuws.nl/nieuws/62538/Kerensa_Broersen_loopt_halve_marathon_voor_goed_doel

5. 20 September 2016: http://www.utnieuws.nl/nieuws/63239/Niemand_wil_zijn_of_haar_herinneringen_kwijtraken

Enschede FM:

6. Radio interview (7 October 2014): http://www.tvenschedefm.nl/alzheimer-onderzoek-ut-krijgt-bijna-900-000-euro/nieuws/item?151312



7. Het gezicht van dementie onderzoek (September 2017): https://publicaties.zonmw.nl/het-gezicht-van-dementieonderzoek/interview-kerensa-broersen/ 


BNR Nieuwsradio:

8. Interview with Roelof Hemmen (24 July 2017): https://www.bnr.nl/nieuws/wetenschap/10326834/twentse-alzheimer-onderzoekster-naar-amerika

News on utwente.nl

Election for Viva400: https://www.utwente.nl/nieuws/!/2017/9/189484/vijf-wetenschappers-van-ut-in-viva400

Fulbright fellowship: https://www.utwente.nl/en/news/!/2017/7/160713/fulbright-scholarship-for-kerensa-broersen


Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Science and Technology
Horst Complex (building no. 20), room ZH155
De Horst 2
7522LW  Enschede
The Netherlands

Navigate to location

Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Science and Technology
Horst Complex  ZH155
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Additional Contact Information

I am currently on a sabbatical in the laboratory of Randy Schekman at the University of California - Berkeley studying unconventional secretion of tau protein. I will be back at UTwente in September 2018. In the meantime you can contact me on broersen@berkeley.edu.

Social Media