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Our research aims to innovate and optimize the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of severe mental health disorders in a medical context.

About our department

Our research

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Mission statement

Our mission is to innovate and optimise the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of severe mental health disorders in a medical context. The research conducted herein comprises applied, clinical and translational studies.

Research Lines

Detailed information about our research can be found on our separate website: psych.erasmusmc.nl

Our scientific research is organized into three main research lines that are distinguished by their complementary methodological approaches. 

The three research lines cooperate naturally. Applied Social and Forensic Psychiatry applies neurobiological (biomarker and genetic) approaches in collaboration with our laboratory of Neurobiology of Mood & Psychotic Disorders. Mood (and its medical perspectives) is also often a study focus area in the Medical Psychology research line.

Research Groups


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Difficult-to-engage patients

This area involves studies related to treatment motivation and the prevention of coercion. Motivation is studied for treatment as it relates to treatment outcome and coercion.

Forensic Psychiatry

Forensic psychiatry

Our research focuses on the various biological, psychological and social factors involved in the predisposition to, onset of, and maintenance of common psychiatric disorders that accompany the risk of criminal offending.

Research MPP

Psychological aspects of living kidney donation

Together with the Department of Internal Medicine, the Department of Psychiatry is a leading global institute in the facilitation of living kidney donation.

Psychiatry Research

Quality of life

The department has a long tradition of measuring health-related quality of life, of which the EQ-5D is our current focus.

Drawing a brain

The GEZIN study

The GEZIN study (Genetische Zoektocht in Neuropsychiatrische stoornissen) involves family-based, case-control and population-based epidemiological genomic discovery to identify novel genetic determinants of mental health outcomes.

Psychiatry Research

The iBerry study

In 2015, the iBerry Study was started to learn more about social, emotional and behavioral development during adolescence.

Mother and child

The OPPER study

The OPPER study is the world largest cohort of first-onset postpartum psychosis, and includes both longitudinal clinical assessments and biological studies.


The UP'S study

The UP’S study assesses the determinants of personal, clinical and social recovery in a group of 600 psychotic disorder patients treated in out-reaching mental health care teams over a ten-year period.


Information about our publications can be found on our separate website: psych.erasmusmc.nl


The Department of Psychiatry makes use of the following Erasmus MC core facilities

Erasmus Centre for Animal Research (EDC)

The research group Neurobiology of Mood & Psychotic Disorders makes extensive use of the EDC facilities for the transgenic mouse modelling of psychiatric disorders, including behavioural, imaging and electrophysiological studies.

The Generation R Study

Multiple research lines within the department collaborate closely with the Generation R facility in areas such as the iBerry study. The research group Neurobiology of Mood & Psychotic Disorders participates in research on genomic data, brain imaging and mental health outcomes.


The Neurobiology of Mood & Psychotic Disorders group works closely with the genomics facility at the Erasmus MC for microarray genotyping, whole exome sequencing and RNA sequencing.

iPS Facility

The research group Neurobiology of Mood & Psychotic Disorders collaborates closely with the iPS Facility in areas such as patient cellular reprogramming and neural lineage differentiation.


The faculty of Neurobiology of Mood & Psychotic Disorders has conducted several projects in collaboration with the Proteomics facility.


Regional and national collaborations

Dutch ministries expect University Medical Centers to play a regional and national coordinating role. This position provides us with the opportunity to involve other regional and national partners in our research, giving us the necessary financial and statistical critical mass to conduct our studies.

Neurobiology of Mood & Psychotic Disorders has a strong national collaboration through the Institute for Human Organ and Disease Model Technologies. Here, prof. Kushner is the theme coordinator for brain-on-chip projects and member of the Netherlands Organ-on-Chip Initiative (NOCI) NOW Gravitation award consortium.

Prof. van Busschbach has a strong history of cooperation with the Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management for the EQ-5D questionnaire and other quality of life research. Applied Social and Forensic Psychiatry has extensive collaboration with regional mental health care providers, which offers strong academic support for regional community mental health centers.

International collaborations

We have built a strong collaborative network of institutes. Kings College London and the University of Oslo are important partners in the prevention of coercion and outpatient psychiatry, while the University of Sydney collaborates with us on the Mental Health Living Longer Project.

Moreover, we participate in a large international consortium (ICHOMS) for determining internationally-standardised criteria for key performance indicators for psychosis. We work closely with scientists from the Champalimaud Foundation Neuroscience Program (Lisbon) on advanced methodologies for in vivo imaging, with Columbia University (New York, USA) regarding functional genomic analyses, with Ben Gurion University (Israel) on the ascertainment of consanguineous families with Mendelian patterns of severe mental illness, and with the University of Toronto (Canada) on human-induced pluripotent stem cell modelling.

Regarding peripartum psychiatry, we collaborate closely with Mount Sinai (New York, USA), the university of Aarhus (Denmark) and the NIH (Bethesda, USA).

Prof. Kushner also serves as the Netherlands representative to the Federation of the European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Council, and has leading roles in several European Commission grants (PerMed, NEURON and FET-CONNECT). Prof. van Busschbach is the chair of the international EuroQol Group, and leads research for the EQ-5D questionnaire.



Patient-Reported Outcomes on Quality of Life in Ophthalmology


Visser M.S.

(Co)promotor(s): Busschbach van J.J., Timman R.
PhD Thesis EUR, 15-11-2022

Oxytocin, vasopressin and human behavior

Berends Y.R.

(Co)promotor(s): Kushner S.A., Marle van H.J.C., Tulen J.H.M.
PhD Thesis EUR, 03-11-2022

Neurophysiological Measures to Asses Cognitive Functioning in Neurofibromatosis Type 1

Castricum J.

(Co)promotor(s): Elgersma Y., Tulen J.H.M.
PhD Thesis EUR, 26-04-2022

The Impact of Treatment Intensity Mentalization-Based Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder: effects, costs and predictors

Smits M.L.

(Co)promotor(s): Busschbach van J.J., Luyten P., Verheul R., Feenstra D.J.
PhD Thesis EUR, 01-04-2022

Understanding the biology of schizophrenia by functional investigations and integrative genomic data analyses

Ori A.P.S.

(Co)promotor(s): Ophoff R.A., Kushner S.A.
PhD Thesis EUR, 15-02-2022

Organization, Costs, and Effects

Jansen L.A.W.

(Co)promotor(s): Busschbach van J.J., Schijndel van M.A.
PhD Thesis EUR, 03-02-2022

Consequences for development: from conception to childhood

Poels E.M.P.

(Co)promotor(s): Hoogendijk W.J.G., Bergink V., White T.J.H.
PhD Thesis EUR, 19-01-2022


Dissertations in recent years can be found on our separate website: psych.erasmusmc.nl

and also

Repub, Erasmus University Repository - Department of Psychiatry: repub.eur.nl

About our department

About our department

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