Carolina de Weerth – Faculty

My research focuses on early development, from pregnancy until middle childhood, and in community and vulnerable populations. I have three main lines of research: 1) the influences of prenatal maternal stress and anxiety on child development; 2) the development of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis (i.e. the most important stress system) in children, in … Continue reading Carolina de Weerth – Faculty

Roseriet Beijers – Faculty

My research combines early human development and psychobiology, and focuses mostly on the relations between the prenatal and early postnatal caregiving environment and the development of infant regulatory capacities. I include multiple levels of regulation, i.e. the regulation of the HPA-axis with its end product cortisol, and the regulation of behavior and emotions. Next to … Continue reading Roseriet Beijers – Faculty

Bonnie Brett – Postdoc

My research focuses on contextual factors influencing cognitive, social, and emotional development in early childhood, including the parent-child relationship, the school environment, and early health and nutrition. I am also interested in how these early influences shape development throughout the lifespan and in taking scientific findings to scale in an affordable and sustainable manner through … Continue reading Bonnie Brett – Postdoc

Pamela Browne – PhD student

My interest lies in the development of intestinal microbiota in childhood, and its role in maintaining health throughout life. During my PhD I will therefore focus on the infant microbiota in relation to physical and mental health in children. In a clinical trial I will investigate the relation between prenatal maternal stress and child health … Continue reading Pamela Browne – PhD student

Kelly Cooijmans – PhD student

In my current project, I study how proximity and close physical contact between mother and infant may facilitate psychological, behavioural, and biological aspects of child development and maternal wellbeing. I focus on sleeping, feeding and holding as important characteristics of proximity and physical contact. E-mail:

Katharina Gruber – PhD Student

I am interested in the relation between early life stress and adolescent brain, behavior and cognition and how this is mediated by early life gut microbiota. In my PhD, I will investigate the effect of these early-life factors on brain structure and brain functioning using magnetic resonance imaging. My focus lies on the amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal circuit, … Continue reading Katharina Gruber – PhD Student

Yvonne Willemsen – PhD student

I am interested in the influence of nutrition and the gut microbiome on child health. During my PhD track, I will focus on nutrition, the composition of the gut microbiome and how that affects the behaviour of toddlers and children. In two cohorts, nutrition intake is assessed, and several biological samples (including stool samples) and … Continue reading Yvonne Willemsen – PhD student

Yangwenshan Ou – PhD student

My research interests are the analysis of human intestinal microbiota, its correlation with phenotypes and metabolites in lumen and the potential mechanism of this connection. Now, I am mainly focused on the changes of intestinal microbiota in puberty and adolescence compared to earlier ages (e.g. childhood), and the correlation of gut flora with social behaviors … Continue reading Yangwenshan Ou – PhD student

Hellen Lustermans – PhD student

I am interested in the influence of early life stress on infant’s development, especially on the development of gut microbiota. During my PhD I will focus on two mechanisms through which maternal psychological stress – as an early life stress-inducing factor – might affect infant microbial development. I will look at the influence of maternal … Continue reading Hellen Lustermans – PhD student

Rosa Pranger – Research Master Behavioural Science Student

I am interested in the influence of maternal wellbeing on early child development. For my Major Research Project, I will investigate the association between maternal wellbeing and inhibitory control in preschoolers. Next to this, I will also examine maternal quality of caregiving and breast milk cortisol as potential working mechanisms underlying the association between maternal … Continue reading Rosa Pranger – Research Master Behavioural Science Student

Jana Runze – Research Master Behavioural Science Student

I am interested in the impact of early-life experiences on long-term physiological health outcomes. Therefore, my Major Research Project focuses on the relationship between mother-child attachment bond and chronic stress, as moderated by self-regulation capacities in early childhood, using the BIBO study. E-mail:

Henrik Eckermann – Research Master Behavioural Science Student

I am broadly interested in the relationship between microbial ecosystems and health. In my major project I will focus on acquiring a biostatistical toolbox to analyze microbiome datasets. Furthermore, I will investigate whether early gut microbiota composition can predict executive functioning in childhood using the data of the BIBO study. E-mail:

Annefleur Veens – Student Assistant

I am a student assistant working for the DPB lab group and the Baby and Child Research Center. I’m also a Research Master Behavioural Science student and my interest lies within the early development of babies and children. E-mail:


Jarno Jansen Danielle de Veld Roseriet Beijers Esther Albers Barbara Gutteling Maartje Zijlmans Sterre Simons Christine Hechler