I am an assistant professor at the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics of VU University Medical Center, where I lead the research line on ‘the role of behavior and the brain in obesity and diabetes’.
I obtained my Master degree in Medical Biology (2005; cum laude) at the Radboud University Nijmegen and my PhD in Human Biology (2009) at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. My PhD research was focused on the role of genetic, behavioral and endocrine factors in the development and regulation of body-weight.
After obtaining my PhD, I worked as a postdoc (2009-2011) at Maastricht University, supported by a personal grant of the research institute (Kootstra fellowship) on the role of sleep quantity, quality and timing on energy balance regulation. After successfully applying for an Intra-European Marie Curie Fellowship, I joined Dr. Higgs’ lab at the University of Birmingham in the UK, where I studied the role of the brain in obesity, using EEG and fMRI.
In 2012, supported by an EGMO+ EU fellowship, I joined the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics of the VUMC, to continue my work on the role of stress, sleep, circadian misalignment, sleep in the development of obesity and consequential metabolic disease. I have received several awards, and I am the president of the Dutch study group for diabetes Epidemiology (NSDEG) as well as the treasurer of the European Diabetes Epidemiology Group (EDEG). Currently, I have published over 50 peer-reviewed articles.