Rik van der Kant, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, VU University Amsterdam and the Alzheimer Center, Amsterdam University Medical Center

Dr. Rik van der Kant is group leader of the Dementia Discovery group in Amsterdam. His research group studies cell-biological pathways downstream of genetic risk factors in Alzheimer’s disease.

His work focuses on the identification of novel biological targets, and the development screening assays, in human iPSC-derived neural systems in order to discover novel therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. van der Kant received his Master of Science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He performed his Ph.D. work in the Netherlands Cancer Institute Amsterdam, where he studied how cholesterol metabolism regulates lysosomal dynamics. As an ERC Marie Curie and Alzheimer Netherlands postdoctoral-fellow he later completed post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Larry Goldstein at UCSD where he used iPSC-derived neuronal systems to discover Tau-lowering drugs.  Here he discovered that accumulation of neuronal cholesterol can directly drive Tau accumulation, and that novel brain-cholesterol targeting drugs can revert pathological Tau accumulation in vitro and in vivo. Together with clinical and pharmaceutical partners, Dr. van der Kant is pursuing the generation of novel brain-specific cholesterol targeting drugs for further clinical testing and development.

After completing his postdoctoral training, Dr. van der Kant moved back to Amsterdam, where he established his own laboratory in 2020.  Dr. van der Kant is a recipient of a number of awards including a European Committee Marie Curie Outgoing fellowship, an Alzheimer Netherlands fellowship and the JBC Herb Tabor Young Investigator Award and his lab is part of the Chan-Zuckerberg Neurodegeneration Challenge network.

To learn more, follow Dr. van der Kant on social media @rikvanderkant.




Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.