Christine Mohrmann Stipend 2023
Christine Mohrmann Stipend 2023

Christine Mohrmann Stipend for Michelle Jansen and Sabine Schootemeijer

Michelle Jansen and Sabine Schootemeijer from the Donders Institute are two of the eleven women PhD candidates that received a Christine Mohrmann Stipend on Tuesday 28 March. The aim of the stipend is to encourage PhD candidates to continue their academic careers after the completion of their thesis. The stipend worth 5.000 euros gives them the opportunity, for example, to spend a period at a university abroad or to deepen their research in another way.

Michelle Jansen investigates differences in cognitive ageing. As we get older, various changes occur in our brain. Nevertheless, the extent to which cognitive functions are affected by these ageing-related brain changes is highly heterogeneous. Although we all age differently, “one-size fits all” has been the dominant view in ageing research, limiting our understanding of key drivers underlying optimal cognitive ageing. Michelle’s research therefore, focuses on unravelling the underlying mechanisms of heterogeneity in cognitive ageing. In addition, she investigates how we could use these insights to improve interventions aimed at preventing cognitive decline.

After her PhD, Michelle would like to use the Christine Mohrmann grant to further bridge the worlds of cognitive ageing research and neuropsychological practice. More specifically, she aims to gain more insights in how we could integrate advanced scientific methodologies and knowledge in clinical practice by visiting the Oxford Brain Health Centre (University of Oxford, United Kingdom, co-led by prof. dr. Clare Mackay and dr. Lola Martos) and memory clinics at Gelre Ziekenhuizen in the Netherlands.

Sabine Schootemeijer investigates the effect of physical activity in people with Parkinson’s disease. She developed an app that stimulates people with Parkinson’s disease to become more physically active. Currently, she is evaluating the effectiveness of this app in a large (N=452) randomised controlled trial. Sabine will leverage the stipendium to visit her collaborators in Boston. This allows her to work on her statistical analyses and improve her analytical skills. Moreover, she will visit several research groups with complementary expertise.

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