dr. Laura Wesseldijk


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Personal profile

Research interests

My interest and expertise lie in the field of behavioral genetics, psychology and musical engagement. My work addresses factors that influence mental health, with a focus on gene-environment interplay. By using genetically informative designs, I am able to strenghten causal inferences and adjust for familial confounding when studying risk and protective factors for psychiatric problems. 

     I obtained my PhD in 2018 at the Biological Psychology Department of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. I studied genetic and familial factors that influence the development and persistence of childhood psychopathology. During my final PhD year I spend 6 months at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. After obtaining my PhD, I continued research in the field of behavioral genetics as a post-doc at the Department of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Instititute in Stockholm. Instead of studying risk factors, I turned to investigating potentially beneficial influences on mental health, namely musical engagement.

     I am located at Amsterdam UMC, location AMC at the department of Psychiatry where I am able to work closely together with the psychiatric genetics lab lead by Prof. Karin Verweij. Additionally, one day per week, as a a post-doc I conduct genetic analyses for a variety of other research projects at the Social Psychology Department of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. From March 2022 onwards, I will work as an Assistant Professor at the Max Planck Institute for Emperical Aesthetics in Frankfurt at the Behavioral Genetics unit in collaboration with Amsterdam UMC Department of Psychiatry. 

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

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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

External positions

Assistant Professor, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics

1 Mar 20221 Mar 2025

Post-doctoral researcher, Karolinska Institutet

1 Mar 20181 Mar 2022


  • M Music
  • QH426 Genetics
  • RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry


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