Research Programme: Genes, Behaviour and Health

Our research is focused on the study of individual differences in behaviour and health, using behavioral and molecular genetic approaches combined with psychometric, neuropsychological, and psychophysiological assessments. The aim is to understand the mechanisms and pathways that influence the development of individual differences in mental and physical health. As an infrastructural resource the department maintains the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) and the Biobank associated with the NTR. The study of individual differences in behaviour and health in the four interconnected research themes described below.  For all research themes, a genetic epidemiological approach is combined with experimental studies in selected subsamples that are typically selected to be informative for environmental (discordant monozygotic twins) or genetic (e.g. genotypes at candidate genes, poly genetic risk scores) risk factors. Development of new methodology that integrates various ‘omics’ levels (epigenomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics)  is an important further mission cutting across all research themes.