Research interests

As an assistant professor at the Psychiatry department (location AMC), my research focuses on neurobiological, psychological and cognitive mechanisms underlying differential vulnerability for adverse mental health outcome after exposure to traumatic stress.
My 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 mental health outcome. 

My first studies initiated as assistant professor focused on whether and how individual differences in neurobiological stress reactivity and recovery are associated with differential vulnerability for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression upon trauma across a range of study designs and populations. This ranged from experimental stress studies in healthy individuals to large prospective cohort studies across different developmental periods throughout the lifespan, including Amsterdam UMC-cohorts Dutch Famine Birth Cohort (Hongerwinter) study; Helius study; ABCD study; and various national and international cohorts of acutely trauma-exposed emergency department patients and humanitarian aid workers. This research was supported by a Veni grant from Zonmw (2016), and a Narsad Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (2016). 

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 predict which recently trauma-exposed individuals are at risk for long-term PTSD, and precisely target preventive interventions towards these individuals. 


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

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