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Sander Lamballais

Drs. Sander Lamballais


Hi, my name is Sander Lamballais. I have received formal training in Psychology (BSc), Neuroscience (MSc) and Genetic Epidemiology (MSc). Over the years, I have been involved in designing and conducting a myriad of studies. My earlier work focused on embodied cognition, where I attempted to expand the scope of the field by focusing on the peripheral nervous system. Later, I spent several years working with mouse models to experimentally dissect the behavioral and neural constructs of social behavior. For my PhD I focused on something entirely different: population-based neuroimaging and the aging brain. I aimed to understand the causes and consequences of brain development and deterioriation. I did so by utilizing data from existing cohorts (e.g. Generation R, ABCD, Rotterdam Study and UKBB) and developing novel tools that integrate epidemiological principles into neuroimaging (e.g. QDECR). Furthermore, I was the lead PhD in designing, conducting and analyzing data from the ORACLE Study, a substudy of the Generation R cohort that has included over 2000 parents. I am awaiting my PhD defense. 

I started as a postdoc in the Adams Lab in 2020. My projects primarily focus on methodology within the fields of genetics and genomics, and application of genetics in the fields of Neurobiology, Neurology and Psychiatry. For the methodological projects, I am working on developing novel methods and modifying existing methods to further utilize publicly available data to further elucidate genetic mechanisms. For the applied projects, I aim to utilize multivariate methods to understanding the role of genetics in broad spectra of outcomes, including high-dimensional structural and functional MRI data as well as psychiatric disorders. I further contribute in the design and conduct of other projects in the Adams lab, including projects on polygenic risk scores, genome-wide association studies and cell-free DNA.


  • Postdoctoral researcher, department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands


  1. Lamballais, S, Muetzel, RL(2021)QDECR: A Flexible, Extensible Vertex-Wise Analysis Framework in R. Front Neuroinform 15 :561689.
  2. Lamballais, S, Jansen, PR, Labrecque, JA, Ikram, MA, White, T(2021)Genetic scores for adult subcortical volumes associate with subcortical volumes during infancy and childhood. Hum Brain Mapp 42 (6):1583-1593.
  3. Steegers, C, Blok, E, Lamballais, S, Jaddoe, V, Bernardoni, F, Vernooij, M, van der Ende, J, Hillegers, M, Micali, N, Ehrlich, S, Jansen, P, Dieleman, G, White, T(2021)The association between body mass index and brain morphology in children: a population-based study. Brain Struct Funct 226 (3):787-800.
  4. López-Vicente, M, Lamballais, S, Louwen, S, Hillegers, M, Tiemeier, H, Muetzel, RL, White, T(2021)White matter microstructure correlates of age, sex, handedness and motor ability in a population-based sample of 3031 school-age children. Neuroimage 227 :117643.
  5. Lamballais, S, Adank, MC, Hussainali, RF, Schalekamp-Timmermans, S, Vernooij, MW, Luik, AI, Steegers, EAP, Ikram, MA(2021)Design and overview of the Origins of Alzheimer's Disease Across the Life course (ORACLE) study. Eur J Epidemiol 36 (1):117-127.
  6. Amiri, M, Lamballais, S, Geenjaar, E, Blanken, LME, El Marroun, H, Tiemeier, H, White, T(2020)Environment-Wide Association Study (En WAS) of Prenatal and Perinatal Factors Associated With Autistic Traits: A Population-Based Study. Autism Res 13 (9):1582-1600.
  7. van den Dries, MA, Lamballais, S, El Marroun, H, Pronk, A, Spaan, S, Ferguson, KK, Longnecker, MP, Tiemeier, H, Guxens, M(2020)Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides and brain morphology and white matter microstructure in preadolescents. Environ Res 191 :110047.
  8. Lamballais, S, Zijlmans, JL, Vernooij, MW, Ikram, MK, Luik, AI, Ikram, MA(2020)The Risk of Dementia in Relation to Cognitive and Brain Reserve. J Alzheimers Dis 77 (2):607-618.
  9. Koenraads, SPC, van der Schroeff, MP, van Ingen, G, Lamballais, S, Tiemeier, H, Baatenburg de Jong, RJ, White, T, Franken, MC, Muetzel, RL(2020)Structural brain differences in pre-adolescents who persist in and recover from stuttering. Neuroimage Clin 27 :102334.
  10. Lamballais, S, Muetzel, RL, Ikram, MA, Tiemeier, H, Vernooij, MW, White, T, Adams, HHH(2020)Genetic Burden for Late-Life Neurodegenerative Disease and Its Association With Early-Life Lipids, Brain, Behavior, and Cognition. Front Psychiatry 11 :33.
Search PubMed


Head size and cancer share genetic pathways
Sander visiting scientist Harvard University
QDECR software at Human Brain Mapping conference in Rome
Journal club on machine learning in clinical prediction
New R package launched by SandeR Lamballais
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