Dorret I Boomsma

Full Professor

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  • Address

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR)
    Department of Complex Trait Genetics
    W&N building, Room B-627
    De Boelelaan 1085
    1081 HV Amsterdam
    The Netherlands

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Prof. dr. Dorret Boomsma is a twin researcher and quantitative geneticist at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. She completed MSc’s in psychophysiology at VU and in behavior genetics at the Institute for Behavior Genetics at University Colorado, Boulder, USA and graduated cum laude for her PhD in 1992 at the VU University Amsterdam. She is a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities and the Academia Europaea. In 2022 she became doctor honoris causa at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.

In collaboration with Professor Orlebeke, she founded the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR), which formed the foundation for her research into the etiology of variation and led to numerous publications and PhD dissertations (see under her supervision.

Her work has led to national and international recognition culminating in the Spinoza Prize in 2002, the highest scientific honor in the Netherlands. Other prizes include the 1985 Thompson Award from the Behavior Genetics Association (BGA), of which she assumed the presidency in 2008. She was honored with the BGA’s 2013 Dobzhansky Award for lifetime achievement in Behavior Genetics. In 1996, she was the recipient of the Junior-Heymans Award from the Netherlands Psychological Association, and in 2002 of the James Shield Award from the International Society for the Study of Twins. Her achievements were recognized with the Dr. Hendrik Muller Prize for Behavioral and Social Sciences in 2009 and the Merian Prize in 2011 for contributions to women in science. The Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences acknowledged her outstanding lifetime achievements with the KNAW Academy Professor Prize in 2014. Most recently, in 2022, she was honored with the Ming Tsuang Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics.

The establishment of the Netherlands Twin Register and her research have been possible by numerous grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific research (NWO), the European Union, and the National Institute of Mental Health in the USA. In 2008 she received an ERC established investigator grant for research into the genetics of mental illness and in 2011 a NARSAD established investigator grant. She is PI of the Twinning Genetics Consortium (TGC) and the EU-FP7-ACTION (Aggression in Children: unravelling gene-environment interplay to inform Treatment and InterventiON) consortium. A major part of her work is collaborative, within BBMRI (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure), the Consortium on Individual Development (CID), Open Data Infrastructure for Social Science and Economic Innovations (ODISSEI) and she is a member of the Commissie Sectorplan Medische & Gezondheidswetenschappen.

Highlighted publications

For all publications of prof. dr. Boomsma see