Research line: Early life stress

Research line: Early life stress

Stress during the neonatal period can cause mental health problems later in life. In this research line, led by Michael van der Kooij (neuroscientist), we focus on the (lasting) impact that stress has on behavior and on metabolic processes. Stress-induced metabolic abnormalities are one of the keys in understanding many psychiatric disorders. 

We want to decipher the paternal role during early life stress, the effects of early life stress on metabolic outcome and setting up a truly translational model, mimicking pain-related stress as it occurs at the NICU. This research line aims to bridge the gap between clinical reality and preclinical research. For instance, a major goal is to setup a realistic animal model to mimic the clinical conditions at the NICU. In order to do that we're in regular contact with colleagues at the department of Neonatology. In the future we want to determine how neonatal stress may reprogram the brain, leading to functional & metabolic impairments in later life, with the aim to develop tailor-made treatment strategies.

Recent key papers uitklapper, klik om te openen

Funding & Grants uitklapper, klik om te openen

  • Dr. CJ Vaillant fund (2022): Neonatal stress and Reward.
  • DFG grant (#457638664; 2021): Stress and dopamine dysfunction in the brain: a role for glucose-mediated motivational deficits.
  • Stimulation grant University Clinics Mainz (2016)

Contact uitklapper, klik om te openen

PI: Michael van der Kooij, personal profile page.
Email:, +31 (0)30 259 54359
Orcid: 0000-0001-7415-1379

Thank you for your review!

Has this information helped you?

Please tell us why, so that we can improve our website.

Working at UMC Utrecht





Practical uses cookies

This website uses cookies This website displays videos from, among others, YouTube. Such parties place cookies (third-party cookies). If you do not want these cookies, you can indicate that here. We also place cookies ourselves to improve our site.

Read more about the cookie policy

Agree No, rather not