© Dr. N. Hensel, Neuroanatomie und Zellbiologie, MHH

Curriculum Vitae



Diploma Biochemistry, Leibnitz - University Hannover, Germany



PhD studies, Center of Systems Neurosciences, Institut of Neuroanatomy,

Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany


Postdoctoral research fellow, Niedersachsen Network on Neuroinfectiology (N-RENNT),

Institute of Neuroanatomy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

2016- 2018

Postdoctoral research fellow, SMA Europe, Institute of Neuroanatomy and Cell Biology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

Since March 2018

Senior Researcher, Institute of Neuroanatomy and Cell Biology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany



SMA Europe

A network biology based approach for the development of SMN-independent treatments” together with Peter Claus and Elia Di Schiavi      2020-2022

German Muscle Foundation   

Dysregulation of peripheral organs in a delayed intervention SMA mouse model together with Peter Claus   2019-2021

SMA Europe

The ROCK-ERK signalling network in SMA – mediator of neurodegeneration and SMN independent treatment target   2016-2018

German Academic Foundation

PhD fellowship: Analysis and inhibition of dysregulated pathways in a mouse model of the motoneuron disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy   2012-2014



1. N. Hensel, V. Raker, B. Förthmann, A. Buch, B. Sodeik, A. Pich and P. Claus: The Proteome and Secretome of Cortical Brain Cells Infected With Herpes Simplex Virus. Frontiers in Neurology, 11(844) (2020)  doi:10.3389/fneur.2020.00844

2. N. Hensel, H. Brickwedde, K. Tsaknakis, A. Grages, L. Braunschweig, K. A. Luders, H. M. Lorenz, S. Lippross, L. M. Walter, F. Tavassol, S. Lienenklaus, C. Neunaber, P. Claus and A. K. Hell: Altered bone development with impaired cartilage formation precedes neuromuscular symptoms in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Hum Mol Genet (2020) doi:10.1093/hmg/ddaa145

3. H. Allardyce, D. Kuhn, E. Hernandez-Gerez, N. Hensel, Y. T. Huang, K. Faller, T. H. Gillingwater, F. Quondamatteo, P. Claus and S. H. Parson: Renal pathology in a mouse model of severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy is associated with downregulation of Glial Cell-Line Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF). Hum Mol Genet, 29(14), 2365-2378 (2020) doi:10.1093/hmg/ddaa126

4. N. Hensel, N. T. Detering, L. M. Walter and P. Claus: Resolution of pathogenic R-loops rescues motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy. Brain, 143(1), 2-5 (2020) doi:10.1093/brain/awz394*         *scientifc commentary

5. N. Hensel, S. Kubinski and P. Claus: The Need for SMN-Independent Treatments of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to Complement SMN-Enhancing Drugs. Front Neurol, 11, 45 (2020) doi:10.3389/fneur.2020.00045

6. L. M. Walter, P. Franz, R. Lindner, G. Tsiavaliaris, N. Hensel* and P. Claus*: Profilin2a-phosphorylation as a regulatory mechanism for actin dynamics. FASEB J, 34(2), 2147-2160 (2020) doi:10.1096/fj.201901883R    *contributed equally as senior authors

7. N. Hensel*, V. Raker*, B. Forthmann, N. T. Detering, S. Kubinski, A. Buch, G. Katzilieris-Petras, J. Spanier, V. Gudi, S. Wagenknecht, V. Kopfnagel, T. A. Werfel, M. Stangel, A. Beineke, U. Kalinke, S. R. Paludan, B. Sodeik and P. Claus: HSV-1 triggers paracrine fibroblast growth factor response from cortical brain cells via immediate-early protein ICP0. J Neuroinflammation, 16(1), 248 (2019) doi:10.1186/s12974-019-1647-5             *contributed equally as first authors

8. F. Bursch, N. Kalmbach, M. Naujock, S. Staege, R. Eggenschwiler, M. Abo-Rady, J. Japtok, W. Guo, N. Hensel, P. Reinhardt, T. M. Boeckers, T. Cantz, J. Sterneckert, L. Van Den Bosch, A. Hermann, S. Petri and F. Wegner: Altered calcium dynamics and glutamate receptor properties in iPSC-derived motor neurons from ALS patients with C9orf72, FUS, SOD1 or TDP43 mutations. Hum Mol Genet, 28(17), 2835-2850 (2019) doi:10.1093/hmg/ddz107

9. N. Hensel and P. Claus: The Actin Cytoskeleton in SMA and ALS: How Does It Contribute to Motoneuron Degeneration? Neuroscientist, 24(1), 54-72 (2018) doi:10.1177/1073858417705059

10. A. K. Uhde, M. Ciurkiewicz, V. Herder, M. A. Khan, N. Hensel, P. Claus, M. Beckstette, R. Teich, S. Floess, W. Baumgartner, K. Jung, J. Huehn and A. Beineke: Intact interleukin-10 receptor signaling protects from hippocampal damage elicited by experimental neurotropic virus infection of SJL mice. Sci Rep, 8(1), 6106 (2018) doi:10.1038/s41598-018-24378-z

11. S. Rademacher, B. M. Verheijen, N. Hensel, M. Peters, G. Bora, G. Brandes, R. Vieira de Sa, N. Heidrich, S. Fischer, H. Brinkmann, W. L. van der Pol, B. Wirth, R. J. Pasterkamp and P. Claus: Metalloprotease-mediated cleavage of PlexinD1 and its sequestration to actin rods in the motoneuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Hum Mol Genet, 26(20), 3946-3959 (2017) doi:10.1093/hmg/ddx282

12. N. Hensel, S. Baskal, L. M. Walter, H. Brinkmann, M. Gernert and P. Claus: ERK and ROCK functionally interact in a signaling network that is compensationally upregulated in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Neurobiol Dis, 108, 352-361 (2017) doi:10.1016/j.nbd.2017.09.005

13. N. Stanslowsky, P. Reinhardt, H. Glass, N. Kalmbach, M. Naujock, N. Hensel, V. Lubben, A. Pal, A. Venneri, F. Lupo, L. De Franceschi, P. Claus, J. Sterneckert, A. Storch, A. Hermann and F. Wegner: Neuronal Dysfunction in iPSC-Derived Medium Spiny Neurons from Chorea-Acanthocytosis Patients Is Reversed by Src Kinase Inhibition and F-Actin Stabilization. J Neurosci, 36(47), 12027-12043 (2016) doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0456-16.2016

14. N. Hensel*, A. Schon*, T. Konen*, V. Lubben, B. Forthmann, O. Baron, C. Grothe, M. Leifheit-Nestler, P. Claus and D. Haffner: Fibroblast growth factor 23 signaling in hippocampal cells: impact on neuronal morphology and synaptic density. J Neurochem, 137(5), 756-69 (2016) doi:10.1111/jnc.13585                         *contributed equally as first authors

15. N. Hensel, S. Rademacher and P. Claus: Chatting with the neighbors: crosstalk between Rho-kinase (ROCK) and other signaling pathways for treatment of neurological disorders. Front Neurosci, 9, 198 (2015) doi:10.3389/fnins.2015.00198

16. N. Hensel, I. Stockbrugger, S. Rademacher, N. Broughton, H. Brinkmann, C. Grothe and P. Claus: Bilateral crosstalk of rho- and extracellular-signal-regulated-kinase (ERK) pathways is confined to an unidirectional mode in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Cell Signal, 26(3), 540-8 (2014) doi:10.1016/j.cellsig.2013.11.027

17. H. Sun, K. Benardais, N. Stanslowsky, N. Thau-Habermann, N. Hensel, D. Huang, P. Claus, R. Dengler, M. Stangel and S. Petri: Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stromal cells and MSC conditioned medium in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)--in vitro evidence from primary motor neuron cultures, NSC-34 cells, astrocytes and microglia. PLoS One, 8(9), e72926 (2013) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072926

18. N. Hensel, A. Ratzka, H. Brinkmann, L. Klimaschewski, C. Grothe and P. Claus: Analysis of the fibroblast growth factor system reveals alterations in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy. PLoS One, 7(2), e31202 (2012) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031202

19. A. Nolle, A. Zeug, J. van Bergeijk, L. Tonges, R. Gerhard, H. Brinkmann, S. Al Rayes, N. Hensel, Y. Schill, D. Apkhazava, S. Jablonka, J. O'Mer, R. K. Srivastav, A. Baasner, P. Lingor, B. Wirth, E. Ponimaskin, R. Niedenthal, C. Grothe and P. Claus: The spinal muscular atrophy disease protein SMN is linked to the Rho-kinase pathway via profilin. Hum Mol Genet, 20(24), 4865-78 (2011) doi:10.1093/hmg/ddr425



Dr. rer. nat. Niko Hensel
Institute of Neuroanatomy and Cell Biology,
OE 4140
Hannover Medical School
Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1
30625 Hannover
E-mail: hensel.niko@mh-hannover.de
Phone: +49-(0)511-532-2932
Fax: +49-(0)511-532-2880