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- faculteit der gedrags- en bewegingswetenschappen ( biologische psychologie )
- Associate Professor
The role of genetic factors and the interplay with the environment in the development and course of psychiatric symptoms in childhood and adulthood.
It has been well established that psychiatric symptoms, both in childhood and in adulthood, are partly heritable. I have a specific interest in the genetic influences on the course of symptoms across the lifespan. Using advanced twin modelling, the genetic and environmental contributions to longitudinal measures of internalizing and externalizing problems in children and adults are investigated as well as the role of gene-environment correlation and gene-environment interaction. In addition, by performing genome-wide association data I aim to provide insight into the genetic architecture of psychopathology and, ultimately, to find genes underlying psychiatric symptoms in children and adults. These studies are often performed in collaboration with researchers from the USA, UK and Australia.
It follows from the heritability of psychiatric symptoms that family members of patients have an increased risk to also suffer from a psychiatric disorder. This accounts for the children of patients, but also for parents whose children are in treatment. Still, child and adolescent psychiatry and adult psychiatry are two separate worlds in most psychiatry clinics. To fill this gap, a family outpatient clinic at GGZ Ingeest has started. Parents of children admitted to the child and adolescent outpatient clinic are screened for psychiatric disorders, and, if necessary, are offered treatment.
I work as an associate professor at the department of biological psychology and as a child and adolescent psychiatrist at GGZ inGeest/VU medical center. I have combined clinical work with research since the start of my PhD study in 2002, which I finished in 2006 with judicium cum laude. Supported by a ZonMW veni (2007) and a ZonMW TOP grant (2010), I continued and extended my research. I ended the training for child and adolescent psychiatry in 2010. Since 2013, I have been trainer child and adolescent psychiatry at GGZ inGeest.
2012 EPA Research Prize in the category: “Clinical psychopathology and refinement of psychiatric diagnostic categories”. The prize is awarded by the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) for the best article of 2011 written by an early career psychiatrist.
2012 Fuller & Scott Early Career award, Behavioral Genetics Association.