Research in this group aims at elucidating underlying biological pathways of brain-related traits and translating these to modifiable targets that can aid in treating brain disorders. We integrate knowledge from different fields, including psychiatry, genetics, neuroscience, machine learning, bioinformatics and mathematics.
While twin- and family studies have shown that many traits are considerably heritable, the role of specific genes in heritable traits remains poorly understood and genes that are identified, only explain a small portion of the trait variance. The focus of this group is on modeling complex and dynamic traits in such a way that the probability to uncover the genetic basis is maximized.
Although a glial component in neurological disorders is increasingly appreciated, we still lack proper understanding of neuron-glia communications. Our goal is to identify and describe glial defects in neurodevelopmental disorders, and to perform proof-of-concept studies for glial-targeted therapy strategies using advanced stem cell technologies.
My research focuses on studying the topological organization of the human brain network, in health and disease. We map and study the human connectome, the ‘road map of the human brain’ and how complex brain function and disfunction may arise from the topological network properties of the human brain network. With my background I bridge psychology, neuroimaging, mathematics, informatics and medicine.