People Dirk Lefeber


prof. dr. Dirk Lefeber

About Dirk Lefeber

Dirk Lefeber studies the highly specific and subtle functional roles of glycans in human biology with a focus on muscle and brain. read more

About Dirk Lefeber

Dirk Lefeber is appointed as professor of Glycosylation Disorders in Neurology. He also leads the Radboudumc Expertise center for Disorders of Glycosylation.

Glycosylation is a process by which proteins are modified with different sugars. Variations in this process occur with almost every disease. Although the biological language of our DNA and proteins is already well understood, this is certainly not the case for protein glycosylation.

The translational research of Dirk Lefeber aims to uncover the biological mechanisms of glycosylation in patients with hereditary metabolic disorders at Radboudumc. He contributed to the discovery of >20 novel genetic diseases and unraveled several novel molecular pathways for the incorporation of sugars into the glycosylation process. This has resulted in translation to improved diagnostics and novel therapies in patient care.


Dirk Lefeber (Elst, 1974) studied chemistry at Utrecht University and received his MSc, with honours, in 1997. In 2001, he obtained his PhD on synthetic carbohydrate vaccines against pneumococcal bacteria. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher in infectiology at the University Medical Center Utrecht and subsequently took a staff position in the department of Neurology and the Translational Metabolic Laboratory in Nijmegen. After undertaking a four-year training programme as a laboratory specialist clinical genetics, Lefeber built a research group in the field of Glycosylation Disorders.

He is also leader of the Radboudumc Expertise Center for Disorders of Glycosylation and the Radboud Consortium for Glycoscience (RCG). Lefeber has received various national and international prizes, including a Vidi and Vici grant from NWO.


As professor of Glycosylation Disorders in Neurology, he will focus on the mechanisms of protein glycosylation in (hereditary) neurological diseases. The Lefeber group is developing new technologies such as glycoproteomics to study the glycosylation of proteins, and will use these widely to improve medical science. Through his research, he aims to gain new insights into the process of protein glycosylation in disease, and translate these into improved person-oriented care.


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Research group Glycosylation Disorders in Neurology

Dirk Lefeber's research group aims to understand the mechanisms of protein- and tissue-specific glycosylation abnormalities in human disease with a focus on neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disease. read more