- 07/2014 – current: PhD candidate
Department of Complex Trait Genetics, CNCR, VU University Amsterdam & Neuroimaging and Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus MC Rotterdam
- 2012-2014: Department of Biochemistry, Teaching Assistant
- 2011-12: Research Internship in clinical applications of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) , Department of Radiology, Erasmus MC Rotterdam
- 2009-2012: MSc Research Master in Clinical Research and Epidemiology, Netherlands Institute Of Health Sciences (NIHES)
- 2007-2014: Medicine, Erasmus MC Rotterdam
The association between polygenic risk profiles for mental disorders and MRI measures of the brain.
Mental disorders constitute 13% of the global burden of disease. These disorders (including schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, autism and substance use disorder) together are the leading cause of disability in the world. Current treatments are seriously hampered by a lack of insight into disease mechanisms. Unlike single gene disorders, mental disorders are influenced by thousands of genetic risk variants of small effect. Large scale scientific collaboration has led to the discovery of multiple new genetic determinants of mental disorders. To benefit from these findings and use them to understand and predict specific diseases, we need to make the translation to the underlying biology of mental disorders.
The aim of our project is to identify differences in brain structure as a function of genetic risk profiles for mental disorders. The general hypothesis is that individuals with a high polygenic risk for mental disorders show measurable differences in brain structure, even though the disease itself may not (yet) be manifest. Identification of structural brain differences related to polygenic risk for mental disorders would aid in understanding the biology of mental disorders and in predicting the future occurrence of illness in preclinical cases.
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