Professor Kwakkel is from background physical therapists and human movement scientists since the eighties. He received his PhD in 1998 about Dynamics of Functional Recovery Post Stroke. Based on his work focused on intensity of exercise therapy (Lancet 1999), he is responsible for the Dutch Stroke Guidelines with respect to Physical Therapy and Neurorehabilitation in the Netherlands. In March 2008, he received a chair ‘Neurorehabilitation’ at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam. His chair is dedicated to translational research in the field of neurorehabilitation with special focus on the longitudinal relationship between brain plasticity and motor recovery early post stroke. Since 2014 he became also head of research of the department neurorehabilitation of rehabilitation center Reade in Amsterdam.
Professor Kwakkel published more than 240 papers with more than 13.000 citations in leading scientific journals such as The Lancet, The Lancet Neurology, BMJ and Stroke (Web of Science H-Index 57). Based on a prestigious laureate from the European Research Council (ERC) for his translational research in 2012, Professor Kwakkel belongs to one of the top researchers of the Amsterdam University Medical Centre. Last year, he received an honorary fellowship from the Associated Physiotherapists in Neurology (ACPIN) in the United Kingdom and the Outstanding Neurorehabilitation Clinician Scientists (ONCS) Award from the American Society of Neurorehabilitation in 2018. Finally, professor Kwakkel is European Managing Editor of the journal Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair (NNR) and president of the Dutch Society of NeuroRehabilitation (DSNR) in the Netherlands.