Tinca Polderman

Assistant Professor
Team Leader


  • Oct 2014 Assistant Professor at the Center of Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Dept. of Complex Trait Genetics, VU University
  • Mar 2010 Assistant Professor at the Center of Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Dept. of Functional Genomics, VU University
  • Mar 2008 - Mar 2010 Post doc at the Dept. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, EUR, Rotterdam, in collaboration with Dept. Biological Psychology, VU University
  • Dec 2007 - Feb 2008 Lecturer, at the Dept. Developmental Psychology, VU University
  • April 2007 - Nov 2007 Post doc at the Dept. Biological Psychology, VU University in collaboration with Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, Université de Provence, Marseille, France
  • Jan 2007 - Mar 2007 Lecturer at the Dept. Developmental Psychology, VU University
  • Dec 2001 - Dec 2006 PhD student at the Dept. Biological Psychology, VU University in collaboration with the Dept. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, EUR, Rotterdam


Since 2012 I coordinate the minor Brain & Mind and the minor course Nature versus Nurture

In 2014 I set up the Honors course Biosocial aspects of criminal behavior together with Jorim Tielbeek and prof. Theo Doreleijers.

In 2017, Sophie van der Sluis and I started the Honors course Complex Trait Genetics

Research focus

After working for 10 years in one of the largest twin registers in the world to study the heritability of ADHD and related disorders, I moved in 2010 to the Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Research (CNCR). The CNCR works at the frontiers of statistical and biological genetics and allowed me to expand my horizon, and extend my knowledge on novel methodologies and biological pathways. My main interest is in the comorbidity between psychiatric traits, potential shared genetic overlap, and underlying biological pathways. I published several papers that focused on shared genetic mechanisms between specific disorder dimensions in neurodevelopmental disorders. Another line of research is genetic by environment interaction (GxE) for which I currently focus on environmental factors that interact with genetic burden for externalizing problems. My most recent achievement is a huge meta-analysis on virtually all published twin studies of the past 50 years on human traits [Nature Genetics, 2015], which is nicknamed ‘the mother of all heritability studies’. I supervise three PhD students with whom I work on gene-set analyses for psychiatric traits, genetic overlap between ASD and comorbid traits, and the genetic link between psychopathology and brain networks.


Highlighted papers:

*Tielbeek JJ, Karlsson Linnér R, Beers K, Popma A, Posthuma D, Polderman TJC (2016). Meta-analysis of the Serotonin Transporter Promoter Variant (5-HTTLPR) in relation to adverse environment and antisocial behavior. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, e-pub
*Polderman TJC, Benyamin B, De Leeuw CA, Sullivan PF, van Bochoven A, Visscher PM & Posthuma D. Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies. Nature Genetics, May 2015, doi:10.1038/ng.3285
* Polderman TJC, Hoekstra RA, Posthuma D & Larsson H (2014). The co-occurrence of autistic and ADHD dimensions in adults: an etiological study in 17 779 twins. Translational Psychiatry, doi: 10.1038/tp.2014.84

Contributions to books

  • Distel MA, De Moor MHM & Polderman TJC (2013). Persoonlijkheid en persoonlijkheidsstoornissen. In: Claes & Van Os (Eds). Handboek Psychiatrie en Genetica, pp 105-119. Uitgeverij De Tijdstroom.
  • Rebollo I, Polderman TJC, & Moya-Albiol L (2010). Genes, aggression y violencia. In: Moya-Albiol, L. (Ed.). Psicobiología de la violencia. Pirámide (Grupo ANAYA, S.A.) Madrid, Spain.
  • Polderman TJC & Verhulst FC (2008). ADHD en aandachtsproblemen bij kinderen. In: D. I. Boomsma (Eds). Tweelingonderzoek. Wat meerlingen vertellen over de mens (pp. 149-160). VU uitgeverij, Amsterdam.

See all publications of Tinca Polderman in PubMed or Google Scholar

Contact info


VU - Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research
Dept Complex Trait Genetics
W&N building, room B-655
De Boelelaan 1085
1081 HV Amsterdam

Telephone:+31 20 598 2834