Cato Romero

PhD student
Team Member

Short CV

2021 - presentPhD studentCTG Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Amsterdam UMC
2020 - 2021Research assistantCTG Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2019 - 2021MSc Neuroscience (cum laude)Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2017 - 2019Student assistant EEG-LabNorwegian University of Science and Technology
2015 - 2018BSc PsychologyNorwegian University of Science and Technology

Research interest

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) can unravel the genetic underpinnings of psychiatric disorders, in which the statistical association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and disease status are tested in an exploratory fashion across the entire genome. Post-GWAS analyses of psychiatric disorders can further be used to characterise aspects of their genetic liability. The research that I am a part of focuses on 3 such aspects, the shared, regional and unique genetic liability, in 13 disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, anorexia nervosa, alcohol dependency, anxiety disorder, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome).

Disorder that share similar genetic signal are evident from their global genetic correlations. We use these genetic correlations to see how we can best categorise certain disorders that share a lot of their genetic liability (e.g., as neurodevelopment disorders or compulsive disorders). A drawback with the genetic correlation is that it averages across the genetic signal from the whole genome. Regional correlations that are in opposite directions will dilute the global correlation. To overcome this, we apply local genetic correlations to better understand what part of the genome is driving the global genetic correlation and whether disorders that appear genetically uncorrelated actually have strong associations in opposite directions. Lastly, we want to see if we can find some genetic signal in a disorder that is not shared with any other disorders. This makes up a disorder’s unique genetic signal and highlights the genetic factors that are different between disorders.


Contact info


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR)
Department of Complex Trait Genetics
W&N building, room A603
De Boelelaan 1085
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands


+31 20 598 51 81