Since 2002 I am a full professor in molecular pharmacology at the department of translational neuroscience in the Brain Center of University Medical Center Utrecht. We aim at unraveling the genetic and neural pathways underlying eating disorders and obesity. Feeding behavior is a complex behavior that serves to control energy balance of an organism. Homeostatic control over energy balance is challenged by higher brain centers that drive feeding of palatable foods or inhibit feeding in order to loose weight. These disruptions may contribute to development of eating disorders and obesity. Several animal models are used in which anorectic behavior (including hyperactivity) is mimicked or in which animals become obese following exposure to palatable choice diets. Using viral vector technology, we manipulate the activity of specific neurons Implicated in eating disorders in animals, in order to unravel the role of these neurons in feeding behavior and energy balance. Results from animal experiments are translated into clinical relevance. DNA from eating disorders patients and epidemiological cohorts is available with extensive phenotypic information. This allows to determine genotype-phenotype relationships in humans. Since 2010 I also hold a research position at Rintveld Eating disorders which ensures the translational character of the eating disorder research line. Since 2017 I am guest professor at the University of Gothenburg. Grants relevant to eating disorders: ENW Klein: a project directed at determining plastic changes in hypothalamic neurons in eating disorders ERANET project: MiGBAN on gut-brain communication in anorexia nervosa Brainscapes: A national multicenter program aimed at targeting neurons implicated in brain disease processes Private sponsoring: using rodent models for anorexia nervosa to find new therapies
- Overview of genetic research in anorexia nervosa: The past, the present and the future.
- Evidence for three genetic loci involved in both anorexia nervosa risk and variation of body mass index.
- Insensitivity to Losses: A Core Feature in Patients With Anorexia Nervosa?
- Disordered eating in three different age groups in Cyprus: a comparative cross-sectional study.
- The determinants of food choice.
- Eating disorders: the big issue.
- Associations between neural correlates of visusal stimulus processing and set-shifting in ill and recovered women with anorexia nervosa.
- Altered food-cue processing in chronically ill and recovered women with anorexia nervosa.
- Drive for activity in patients with anorexia nervosa.
- Longitudinal changes in the physical activity of adolescents with anorexia nervosa and their influence on body composition and leptin serum levels after recovery.
- The Val66Met polymorphism of the BDNF gene in anorexia nervosa: new data and a meta-analysis.
- Neuropsychological weaknesses in anorexia nervosa: set-shifting, central coherence, and decision making in currently ill and recovered women.
- Hyperactivity in anorexia nervosa: Warming up not just burning-off calories.
- Anorexia nervosa and the Val158Met polymorphism of the COMT gene: meta-analysis and new data.
- Mandometer treatment not superior to treatment as usual for anorexia nervosa.
- A meta-analysis of circulating BDNF concentrations in anorexia nervosa.
- Are recently identified genetic variants regulating BMI in the general population associated with anorexia nervosa?
- Leptin’s effect on hyperactivity: potential downstream effector mechanisms.
- A polymorphism in the 3′ untranslated region of the CCK gene is associated with anorexia nervosa in Dutch patients.
- Mutation analysis of the agouti related protein promoter region and the melanocortin-3 receptor in anorexia nervosa patients.
- Olanzapine reduces physical activity in rats exposed to activity-based anorexia: possible implications for treatment of anorexia nervosa?
- Polymorphisms in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene are not associated with either anorexia nervosa or schizophrenia in Dutch patients.
- Refinement of behavioural traits in animals for the genetic dissection of eating disorders.
- Development and body mass inversely affect children’s brain activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during food choice.
- Genome-wide association study identifies eight risk loci and implicates metabo-psychiatric origins for anorexia nervosa.
- The association of emotion-driven impulsiveness, cognitive inflexibility and decision-making with weight status in European adolescents.
- Corticolimbic Mechanisms of Behavioral Inhibition under Threat of Punishment.
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