Focus of research

My focus is on stratification and rational treatment development in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Scientific progress in the last decade has revealed treatment targets and physiological handles for rational therapies but their implementation has not yet been successful.Patients now receive far from optimal trial-and-error therapies often with detrimental effects. 

In 2015 I founded a transitional research & care program in the UMC Utrecht (‘zorgprogramma Prikkelverwerking’) and implemented a transdiagnostic approach in clinical practice. The initiative of the program was a co-creation with stakeholders (multiple awards by patient organisations) The current cohort is one of the largest NDD EEG cohorts world-wide consisting of 300 children.

The cornerstone of my research is the clinical implementation of novel EEG biomarkers that have been developed through an intense partnership with the lab of Klaus Linkenkaer-Hansen, physicist and neuroscientist at the CNCR at the VU. This collaboration has resulted in a patent application and a spin-off company (Aspect-Neuroprofiles) that we use to improve quality control, project management, shorter EEG clinical profiles processing times and more focus on the needs of the market. 

Together with Matthijs Verhage of CNCR at the VU, I have established the NewTDec consortium with experts of radically different backgrounds (from clinical phenotypes and EEG to  the measurement neuronal activity in human induced pluripotent stem cells to nano-chips) around a common interest to better understand and treat NDDs.

In addition, I have designed an extensive preclinical project (TOP-grant) in collaboration with Martien Kas (Groningen), Corette Wierenga (UU) and Christian Lohman (NiN) to test hypotheses on synaptic biology in NDD in relation to clinical outcome.