prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

Full Professor
prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

Research Programs




Sarah Durston obtained her PhD at the Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neuroscience in 2003, working with Professors van Engeland, Buitelaar and Hilleke Hulshoff Pol. In her thesis, she combined structural and functional neuroimaging techniques and she spent two formative years working with Professor BJ Casey at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology in New York. When she returned, she successfully defended her PhD and started a faculty position at the Department of Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry. Here, she started her lab, the NICHE Neuroimaging lab, and continued to collaborate actively with Professor Casey in New York. In that first year, she managed to obtain a VENI grant from NWO, providing essential funding for her work. The lab worked on developmental disorders. The first PhD-students were Martijn Mulder (currently post-doc at the UvA), Marieke Langen (who stayed with the lab as a faculty member after her PhD defence and only recently left) and Tim Ziermans (currently post-doc at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm), working respectively on ADHD, autism and adolescents risk for psychosis. In 2006, Sarah obtained an NWO VIDI grant and new PhD-students joined, Patrick de Zeeuw (currently post-doc with the lab, and simultaneously training as a clinical psychologist), Janna van Belle (completing her PhD) and Sanne de Wit (completing her PhD). The lab was further strengthened by the addition of several RAs to work on the various projects.  With the award of a VICI-grant, as well as several other collaborative grants, the lab grew again and currently includes approximately 15 people (RAs, PhD-students, post-docs, as well as Bob Oranje who is a faculty member and vice-head of the lab). Our work continues to focus on how (genetic and environmental) risks for developmental disorders translate to brain function, structure and connectivity and how this in turn – ultimately- translates to behavioural development. 

Research line

Brain development in developmental disorders

Most recent key publications

1: De Zeeuw P, Weusten J, Van Dijk S, Van Belle J, Durston S: Deficits in cognitive control, timing and reward processing are dissociable in ADHD. PlosOne, in press
2: De Zeeuw P, Mandl RM, Hulshoff Pol HE, Van Engeland H, Durston S: Decreased fronto-striatal structural connectivity in ADHD. Human Brain Mapping, 2012;33(8):1941-1951
3: Durston S, van Belle J, de Zeeuw P: Differentiating frontostriatal and fronto-cerebellar circuits in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Biological Psychiatry 2011;69(12):1178-1184
4: Langen M, Schnack HG, Nederveen H, Bos D, Lahuis BE, van Engeland H, Durston S: Changes in developmental trajectories of striatum in autism. Biol Psychiatry, 2009;66(4):327-333
5: Durston S, Fossella JA, Casey BJ, Hulshoff Pol HE, Galvan, A, Schnack HG, Steenhuis MP, Minderaa RB, Buitelaar JK, Kahn RS, Van Engeland H: Differential effects of DRD4 and DAT1 genotype on fronto-striatal gray matter volumes in a sample of subjects with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, their unaffected siblings and controls. Molecular Psychiatry 2005;10(7):678-685

Side Activities


Fellowship and Awards

NWO Gravitation grant ‘Individual development’; co-applicant (2012)
EU FP7 Translational interventions in Compulsive Syndromes (TACTICS); co-applicant (2012)
NWO VICI grant ‘ADHD: from behaviour to biology’ (2011)
NWO VIDI grant ‘Profiling ADHD: genes, brain and behaviour’ (2006)
NWO VENI grant ‘Genetic risk for ADHD in brain function’ (2003)

Research Output (149)

Imbalanced social-communicative and restricted repetitive behavior subtypes of autism spectrum disorder exhibit different neural circuitry

Bertelsen Natasha, Landi Isotta, Bethlehem Richard A I, Seidlitz Jakob, Busuoli Elena Maria, Mandelli Veronica, Satta Eleonora, Trakoshis Stavros, Auyeung Bonnie, Kundu Prantik, Loth Eva, Dumas Guillaume, Baumeister Sarah, Beckmann Christian F, Bölte Sven, Bourgeron Thomas, Charman Tony, Durston Sarah, Ecker Christine, Holt Rosemary J, Johnson Mark H, Jones Emily J H, Mason Luke, Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas, Moessnang Carolin, Oldehinkel Marianne, Persico Antonio M, Tillmann Julian, Williams Steve C R, Spooren Will, Murphy Declan G M, Buitelaar Jan K, Baron-Cohen Simon, Lai Meng-Chuan, Lombardo Michael V, 14 mei 2021, In: Communications biology. 4 13 p.

Characterizing neuroanatomic heterogeneity in people with and without ADHD based on subcortical brain volumes

Li Ting, van Rooij Daan, Roth Mota Nina, Buitelaar Jan K, Hoogman Martine, Arias Vasquez Alejandro, Franke Barbara, , Durston Sarah 30 mrt 2021, In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 62 , p. 1140-1149 10 p.

Analysis of structural brain asymmetries in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in 39 datasets

Postema Merel C, Hoogman Martine, Ambrosino Sara, Asherson Philip, Banaschewski Tobias, Bandeira Cibele E, Baranov Alexandr, Bau Claiton H D, Baumeister Sarah, Baur-Streubel Ramona, Bellgrove Mark A, Biederman Joseph, Bralten Janita, Brandeis Daniel, Brem Silvia, Buitelaar Jan K, Busatto Geraldo F, Castellanos Francisco X, Cercignani Mara, Chaim-Avancini Tiffany M, Chantiluke Kaylita C, Christakou Anastasia, Coghill David, Conzelmann Annette, Cubillo Ana I, Cupertino Renata B, de Zeeuw Patrick, Doyle Alysa E, Durston Sarah, Earl Eric A, Epstein Jeffery N, Ethofer Thomas, Fair Damien A, Fallgatter Andreas J, Faraone Stephen V, Frodl Thomas, Gabel Matt C, Gogberashvili Tinatin, Grevet Eugenio H, Haavik Jan, Harrison Neil A, Hartman Catharina A, Heslenfeld Dirk J, Hoekstra Pieter J, Hohmann Sarah, Høvik Marie F, Jernigan Terry L, Kardatzki Bernd, Karkashadze Georgii, Oranje Bob, 22 mrt 2021, In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 62 , p. 1202-1219 18 p.

Developmental changes in fronto-striatal glutamate and their association with functioning during inhibitory control in autism spectrum disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder

Hollestein Viola, Buitelaar Jan K, Brandeis Daniel, Banaschewski Tobias, Kaiser Anna, Hohmann Sarah, Oranje Bob, Gooskens Bram, Durston Sarah, Williams Steven C R, Lythgoe David J, Naaijen Jilly 10 mrt 2021, In: NeuroImage. Clinical. 30

Towards robust and replicable sex differences in the intrinsic brain function of autism

Floris Dorothea L, Filho José O A, Lai Meng-Chuan, Giavasis Steve, Oldehinkel Marianne, Mennes Maarten, Charman Tony, Tillmann Julian, Dumas Guillaume, Ecker Christine, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Banaschewski Tobias, Moessnang Carolin, Baron-Cohen Simon, Durston Sarah, Loth Eva, Murphy Declan G M, Buitelaar Jan K, Beckmann Christian F, Milham Michael P, Di Martino Adriana 1 mrt 2021, In: Molecular Autism. 12

"Include me if you can"-reasons for low enrollment of pediatric patients in a psychopharmacological trial

Niemeyer Larissa, Mechler Konstantin, Buitelaar Jan, Durston Sarah, Gooskens Bram, Oranje Bob, Banaschewski Tobias, Dittmann Ralf W, Häge Alexander 1 mrt 2021, In: Trials. 22 11 p.

Alcohol and Brain Development in Adolescents and Young Adults:A Systematic Review of the Literature and Advisory Report of the Health Council of the Netherlands

de Goede Janette, van der Mark-Reeuwijk Kerstin G, Braun Kees P, le Cessie Saskia, Durston Sarah, Engels Rutger C M E, Goudriaan Anna E, Moons Karel G M, Vollebergh Wilma A M, de Vries Taco J, Wiers Reinout W, Oosterlaan Jaap 2 feb 2021, In: Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.). 12 , p. 1379-1410 32 p.

Evidence for similar structural brain anomalies in youth and adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder:a machine learning analysis

Zhang-James Yanli, Helminen Emily C, Liu Jinru, Franke Barbara, Hoogman Martine, Faraone Stephen V, , Durston Sarah 1 feb 2021, In: Translational Psychiatry. 11 9 p.

Saccade dysmetria indicates attenuated visual exploration in autism spectrum disorder

Bast Nico, Mason Luke, Freitag Christine M, Smith Tim, Portugal Ana Maria, Poustka Luise, Banaschewski Tobias, Johnson Mark, , Durston Sarah feb 2021, In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 62 , p. 149-159 11 p.

Gray matter covariations and core symptoms of autism:the EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project

Mei Ting, Llera Alberto, Floris Dorothea L., Forde Natalie J., Tillmann Julian, Durston Sarah, Moessnang Carolin, Banaschewski Tobias, Holt Rosemary J., Baron-Cohen Simon, Rausch Annika, Loth Eva, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Charman Tony, Murphy Declan G.M., Ecker Christine, Beckmann Christian F., Buitelaar Jan K., 1 dec 2020, In: Molecular Autism. 11 , p. 86

All research output

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