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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. 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 :.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Lamballais, S, Vinke, EJ, Vernooij, MW, Ikram, MA, Muetzel, RL(2020)Cortical gyrification in relation to age and cognition in older adults. Neuroimage 212 :116637.
  7. Muetzel, RL, Mulder, RH, Lamballais, S, Cortes Hidalgo, AP, Jansen, P, Güroğlu, B, Vernooiji, MW, Hillegers, M, White, T, El Marroun, H, Tiemeier, H(2019)Frequent Bullying Involvement and Brain Morphology in Children. Front Psychiatry 10 :696.
  8. Chen, Z, Franco, OH, Lamballais, S, Ikram, MA, Schoufour, JD, Muka, T, Voortman, T(2020)Associations of specific dietary protein with longitudinal insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: The Rotterdam Study. Clin Nutr 39 (1):242-249.
  9. Lamballais, S, Sajjad, A, Leening, MJG, Gaillard, R, Franco, OH, Mattace-Raso, FUS, Jaddoe, VWV, Roza, SJ, Tiemeier, H, Ikram, MA(2018)Association of Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness With Cognition in 2 Population-Based Child and Adult Cohorts. J Am Heart Assoc 7 (21):e009847.
  10. Chen, Z, Schoufour, JD, Rivadeneira, F, Lamballais, S, Ikram, MA, Franco, OH, Voortman, T(2019)Plant-based Diet and Adiposity Over Time in a Middle-aged and Elderly Population: The Rotterdam Study. Epidemiology 30 (2):303-310.
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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