Judith van Leeuwen


My research interest comprises understanding why some individuals develop mental health problems after stressful experiences while others remain healthy.

In order to do so, I combine several methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and ecological momentary assessments (smartphone-based questionnaires and wearables) to assess the neurobiological, physiological and psychological mechanisms underlying stress resilience. In January 2019, I joined DynaMORE (Dynamic MOdeling of REsilience) consortium. My current work focusses on the real-time analysis of subjective and physiological data obtained from smartphones and smartwatches respectively, triggering a smartphone-based intervention if a stressful situation is detected. This intervention aims to prevent the development of stress-related mental health complaints.

In 2019 I obtained the degree of Doctor (PhD) at Utrecht University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rene S. Kahn, Prof. Dr. Marian Joels, Dr. Christiaan H. Vinkers and Dr. Matthijs Vink. My thesis was titled: “Stress and the susceptible brain: neurobiological insights into the stress response in bipolar patients and siblings of schizophrenia patients”.