I have a BSc in Psychology (Brain & Cognition) from Erasmus University Rotterdam. During the final year of my bachelor’s, I gained research experience during an internship in the Department of Psychology & Psychiatry at St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein. Here, I worked on the preparation of a study focusing on the reduction of cardiac fear using behavioral experiments. This entailed the refinement of study materials (e.g., ensuring construct validity of questionnaires) and testing, refining and standardizing data exchange between electronic health records, raw data systems and statistical software. I collaborated with a team of psychologists, physiotherapists and data specialists. After completing my bachelor’s, my thesis was awarded with a co-authorship and I’m still involved in this research line at the intersection of cognitive psychology and neuroscience.
I am currently a Neuroscience MSc student at Erasmus Medical Center. In the Adams Lab, I work on two independent projects related to liquid biopsies in neurodegenerative disorders and the genetic architecture of skull shapes. On the one hand, I look at methylation patterns in cell-free DNA as a potential biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease. The goal is to work towards a diagnostic tool with the sensitivity and specificity to detect Parkinson-specific DNA fragments prior to current clinical diagnoses. On the other hand, I try to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of specific skull shapes measures by combining imaging and genetics data. Eventually, I strive to provide more genetic insights into the variety of skull shapes as seen by evolutionary pressure and interethnic differences. In both projects, I combine the mastery of contemporary skills with implementing new developments in the fields.
Finally, music is a great passion of mine. In my free time, I am a freelance musician and bandleader of a Latin band. Besides playing music, I am a proponent of non-pharmaceutical interventions in neurodegenerative disorders, such as music therapy in Parkinson’s Disease, and I would like to contribute to the efficacy of therapies in this field later in my career.