Rachel Brouwer

Postdoctoral researcher
Team Member

Assistant professor Complex Trait Genetics lab.

Short CV:

2020 - presentAssistant ProfessorComplex Trait Genetics lab, VU University
2015 - 2020Assistant ProfessorDepartment of psychiatry, University Medical Center Utrecht
2006 - 2015Post-doctoral researcherDepartment of psychiatry, University Medical Center Utrecht
2001 - 2005PhD candidateCentrum Wiskunde en Informatica VU University
1999 - 2001Msc MathematicsUniversity of Amsterdam
1994 - 1999Msc Industrial and Business StatisticsUniversity of Amsterdam


Why does one individual develop a psychiatric disorder and the other does not? Why does one child develop to be a healthy adult and another experiences difficulties? Individual differences in (brain) development are the result of the complex interplay between genetic vulnerability and environmental influences. The overarching topic of my research has been explaining individual differences through twin and family models, the use of magnetic resonance imaging methods and genetic data. I specifically focused on longitudinal measurements, as a trajectory over time is often more informative than a single time point, regardless of whether the question is about brain development or transition into disease. I co-lead the ENIGMA plasticity working group that studies the genetics of longitudinal changes in the brain. In the coming years, I aim to develop methodology to link biological information from various sources to shed light on the aetiology of (neuro)psychiatric disease.


For a full publication list please see here.

Highlighted publications:

Brouwer RM, Schutte J, Janssen R, Boomsma DI, Hulshoff Pol HE, Schnack HG (2021) The Speed of Development of Adolescent Brain Age Depends on Sex and Is Genetically Determined. Cereb Cortex. Jan 5;31(2):1296-1306. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa296.

Buimer EEL, Schnack HG, Caspi Y, van Haren NEM, Milchenko M, Pas P; Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Hulshoff Pol HE, Brouwer RM. (2021) De- identification procedures for magnetic resonance images and the impact on structural brain measures at different ages. Hum Brain Mapp. Aug 1;42(11):3643-3655. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25459. Epub 2021 May 11. PMID: 33973694; PMCID: PMC8249889.

Teeuw J, Hulshoff Pol HE, Boomsma DI, Brouwer RM (2021) Reliability modelling of resting-state functional connectivity.
Neuroimage. Feb 11;231:117842. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.117842. Online ahead of print.

de Zwarte SMC, Brouwer RM, Agartz I, Alda M, Aleman A, Alpert KI, Bearden CE, Bertolino A, Bois C, Bonvino A, Bramon E, Buimer EEL, Cahn W, Cannon DM, Cannon TD, Caseras X, Castro-Fornieles J, Chen Q, Chung Y, De la Serna E, Di Giorgio A, Doucet GE, Eker MC, Erk S, Fears SC, Foley SF, Frangou S, Frankland A, Fullerton JM, Glahn DC, Goghari VM, Goldman AL, Gonul AS, Gruber O, de Haan L, Hajek T, Hawkins EL, Heinz A, Hillegers MHJ, Hulshoff Pol HE, Hultman CM, Ingvar M, Johansson V, Jönsson EG, Kane F, Kempton MJ, Koenis MMG, Kopecek M, Krabbendam L, Krämer B, Lawrie SM, Lenroot RK, Marcelis M, Marsman JC, Mattay VS, McDonald C, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Michielse S, Mitchell PB, Moreno D, Murray RM, Mwangi B, Najt P, Neilson E, Newport J, van Os J, Overs B, Ozerdem A, Picchioni MM, Richter A, Roberts G, Aydogan AS, Schofield PR, Simsek F, Soares JC, Sugranyes G, Toulopoulou T, Tronchin G, Walter H, Wang L, Weinberger DR, Whalley HC, Yalin N, Andreassen OA, Ching CRK, van Erp TGM, Turner JA, Jahanshad N, Thompson PM, Kahn RS, van Haren NEM. (2019) The Association Between Familial Risk and Brain Abnormalities Is Disease Specific: An ENIGMA-Relatives Study of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. Biol Psychiatry. Oct 1;86(7):545-556. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.03.985.

Brouwer RM, Panizzon MS, Glahn DC, Hibar DP, Hua X, Jahanshad N, Abramovic L, de Zubicaray GI, Franz CE, Hansell NK, Hickie IB, Koenis MMG, Martin NG, Mather KA, McMahon KL, Schnack HG, Strike LT, Swagerman SC, Thalamuthu A, Wen W, Gilmore JH, Gogtay N, Kahn RS, Sachdev PS, Wright MJ, Boomsma DI, Kremen WS, Thompson PM, Hulshoff Pol HE (2017). Genetic influences on individual differences in longitudinal changes in global and subcortical brain volumes: Results of the ENIGMA plasticity working group.Hum Brain Mapp. Sep;38(9):4444-4458. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23672.

Contact info


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR)
Department of Complex Trait Genetics
W&N building, Room B-655
De Boelelaan 1085
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands


+31 20 598 19 00