My research aims to understand how stress exposure can lastingly affect brain function. Using animal models that allow for controlled study of the mechanistic underpinnings of stress-related psychopathology, I intend to elucidate how stress affects the brain. Since the brain is organized as set of functional neural networks, I focus on the neural circuit level (e.g., by whole-brain analyses of neuronal activation by means of rodent MRI or cellular neuronal activity markers, viral tracing, and optogenetics) and combine this with molecular studies to provide detailed mechanistic insight in the causes of altered neuronal circuit structure and function (investigating epigenetic mechanisms and local gene expression). I am particularly interested in inter-individual differences in the neural correlates of stress responsivity and subsequent coping, as I think that the natural resiliency against developing stress-related mental disorders contains unique information for new treatment options. Therefore, I combine these brain analysis methods with a wide variety of behavioural assays, to determine which individuals are relatively stress resilient and which succumb to mental disease.
|Visiting address:||Department of Cognitive Neuroscience
Kapittelweg 29, room 1.182
6525 EN Nijmegen
|Postal address:||Department of Cognitive Neuroscience / HP 200
P.O. Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen
Research grants and prizes
2019 – Junior Researcher Round Radboudumc
Project: Neuro-epigenetic mechanisms of aberrant memory processing in PTSD.
2018 – Open Research Area Funding Scheme (DFG & NWO).
Project: Stress effects on memory accuracy vs generalization.
2015 - Veni Grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Project: Neural networks of post-traumatic stress disorder: natural resilience as key for intervention.
2014 - PhD Thesis Award from the Dutch Neurofederation for best Dutch PhD thesis in Neuroscience of 2013.
2012 - Feinberg Graduate School Research Grant: Dissecting the central stress response: Elucidating the role of the extended amygdala CRF system in modulating stress-induced psychopathologies.
2012 - Niels Stensen Stipendium: Dissecting the central stress response: Elucidating the role of the extended amygdala CRF system in modulating stress-induced psychopathologies.
2008 - Toptalent Grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Project: When we cannot forget: Probing the mechanistic underpinnings of stress-related memories.
Plasticity and Memory
Associate Principal Investigator
M.J.A.G. Henckens (Marloes), PhD
Kubra Gulmez Karaca
Dewi van der Geugten
Update Feb 20 EL