Research interests

As an assistant professor at the AMC Psychiatry Department, my line of research focuses on psychoneurobiological mechanisms of differential vulnerability for adverse mental health outcome after traumatic stress.
The ultimate goal is to eventually apply this knowledge in precision medicine and target preventive interventions to recently traumatized individuals detected to be at risk for adverse outcome, 

My research includes currently ongoing studies on whether and how individual psychoneurobiological differences in acute stress responsivity may be used to:
1) classify recently traumatized individuals at risk for PTSD using machine learning algorithms;
2) prospectively explain differences in trauma-related intrusive symptoms in response to experimental trauma;
3) are associated with transdiagnostic intrusive symptoms in psychiatric patients;
4) are prospectively associated with risk for trauma-related adverse mental health outcome in a large cohort of elderly exposed to prenatal severe malnutrition as result of the Dutch Famine at the end of World War2 (Hongerwinter).
5) are longitudinally associated with development of psychological symptoms in response to humanitarian-aid work deployment.

These project are performed in collaboration with several national and international research groups.

As of 2020, I am the projectleader of 2-ASAP, a multidisciplinary consortium funded by an 8-year grant from the ZonMW GGZ program.
This consortium ‘Towards Accurate Screening And Prevention: improving early risk detection and indicated prevention for PTSD (2-ASAP)’ aims to develop a sex-specific prognostic screening instrument derived with state-of-the art methodological approaches to accurately predict which recently trauma-exposed individuals are at risk for long-term PTSD, and precisely target preventive interventions towards these individuals. 
My research is additionally supported by a Veni grant from the Netherlands organization for Health Research and Development (2016), and a Narsad Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (2016).






PTSD, (traumatic) stress, differential vulnerability, risk detection and prevention, psychoneuroendocrinology, psychoneuroimmunology, cohort studies

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