1995 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on risk factors and consequences of cerebrovascular disease and brain health in mid and late life, with the goal to identify those individuals at high risk during the earliest stages of the disease and find clues for preventive measures. Risk factors of interest include biological (including genetic), environmental, social, cognitive, and emotional determinants. Outcomes include stroke, late-life depression, cognitive decline and dementia.

I have around 25 years of experience in doing research on the epidemiology of cognitive aging, late-life depression, and dementia. I have ample experience in initiating, conducting, coordinating, supervising, and reporting of observational studies, within different settings (general population, primary care, hospital). In these studies I often combined epidemiological and neuroimaging techniques, i.e., structural brain MRI, including 7 tesla MRI. Such cohort studies from the UMC Utrecht that I am PI of are the SMART-MR study, the PREDICT-NL and PREDICT-MR studies, and the Medea 7T study.

I have a large national and international collaborative network among dementia researchers (e.g., Netherlands Consortium of Dementia Cohorts (NCDC), PSY-CA consortium, CHARGE consortium, MELODEM), and co-author and supervise studies in collaboration with international cohorts including the AGES-Reykjavik Study, WHICAP, and the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study.

I have supervised many BSc, MSc, and PhD students, and have been teaching, coordinating and examining epidemiology for many years. In 2016, I obtained the University teaching qualification, by board of the Faculty of Medicine, Utrecht University (BKO, Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs).

From 2016-2022 I was member of the examiner board of the curriculum Medicine (Examencommissie Geneeskunde) (University Medical Center Utrecht). I serve(d) on committees, including the Alzheimer Nederland fellowship grant programme committee (2017-present); the Veni ZonMw programme committee (Chair 2014-2017); and the Institutional Review Board (METC) of the University Medical Center Utrecht (2007-2011).

Since May 2022, I am Head of Research of the department of General Practice at Amsterdam UMC. One of my goals is to strengthen the primary care perspective of dementia research within the research institutes Amsterdam Public Health (APH) and Amsterdam Neuroscience.


epidemiology, aging, dementia, depression, brain health

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

Associate Professor, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

15 Jan 200231 Dec 2022

Special Volunteer, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland, USA


  • R Medicine (General)
  • Epidemiology

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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