Jeroen Lakerveld

DR., (Principal Investigator)


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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an assistant professor with the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science at the Amsterdam UMC location VUmc. As epidemiologist and health researcher I lead a small but ambitious research group  environmental determinants of lifestyle behaviours and chronic disease risk in adults: 'the Upstream Team'. 

My research interests are in the individual and environmental determinants of lifestyle behaviours and chronic disease risk, in particular how they can be measured, how they interact and how they can be changed. We explore innovative machine learning and AI approaches to make sense of the wealth of individual- and environmental level data that we have available.

I obtained my PhD in 2011 with the thesis 'Efforts to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in primary care'. Before that I studied physiotherapy (University of Utrecht, finished 2002), Health science (VU University, finished 2004) and a two-year master Public Health Research (VU University, completed 2006).

As project leader I finished an NDF-funded research project focusing on the implementation of environmental changes to improve lifestyle behaviours in residents of underprivileged neighbourhoods. I coordinated SPOTLIGHT, an EU-FP7 funded project focusing on the sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies. This project involved a consortium of 13 partners across 8 European countries.

I co-managed the Determinants of diet and physical activity knowledge hub (DEDIPAC KH) which was led by Prof. J. Brug. The DEDIPAC KH  consisted of about 300 researchers from multiple disciplines, from 68 research institutes across 13 European countries. It facilitated the integration and development of an infrastructure for research on determinants of diet and physical activity.

In 2017 we started a large national study on preventing cardiometabolic risk through nudging healthy eating and physical activity in supermarkets and through m-health (Supreme Nudge, please see its dedicated website for more information).

I am the PI of the cross-national Geohealth cohort consortium (GECCO), an infrastructure to support researchers to study the relation between environmental characteristics and health. We have gathered and operationalised many data on environmental exposures over many years. We enrich 23 large cohorts that are currently affiliated with GECCO, and provide these data to researchers upon request.

Other projects we are currently running include the Policy Evaluation Network (PEN), a JPI similar to DEDIPAC but with a focus on identifying, benchmarking and evaluating policies related to dietary behaviours, physical activity and sedentary behaviours ( I serve as vice-coordinator of this network, for which a total funding amount of about 4M Euros has been secured. Other projects are ENDEAVOR, a project focusing on environmental determinants of lifestyle behaviors and risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and together with Sanquin Donor Studies we are exploring the upstream determinants of lifestyle behaviours and donor blood quality.

More recently I started as project leader in the large Exposome-NL network, and collaborate as partner in the H2020 project EXPANSE (both with an environmental epidemiological focus).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • H Social Sciences (General)

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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