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L.C.M. (Loes) Bertens, PhD

Senior Epidemiologist

  • Department
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
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My main research focus lies on studying vulnerable populations, using the best possible research methods and state-of-the-art analytical techniques. The vulnerable population I studied during my PhD trajectory were frail elderly persons at risk of heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. With this work, I focused on methodological challenges in diagnostic research in this vulnerable population. After having obtained my PhD degree, I co-designed and initiated a multifactorial adaptive randomization study of the treatment of severe community acquired pneumonia across European ICUs.

This broadened my knowledge and experience in research methodology and statistical methods. To further translate my methodological knowledge into ambitious research, I shifted my focus back to studies in vulnerable populations, but now with a sharper focus on the intergenerational effects of vulnerability and perinatal health equity research. In my current position, I combine both fields in different research projects, and by continuing and building on from this, I aim to contribute to the knowledge needed for reducing health inequities.

Education and career

After having obtained Bachelors' and Masters' degrees in Health Sciences (VU Amsterdam, 2005 - 2008), I was offered a PhD-position at UMC Utrecht in 2009, and followed a post-graduate study in clinical epidemiology, specialty of Health sciences. In 2014, I successfully defended my PhD-thesis, and then was employed as an assistant professor at the Julius Center in Utrecht. Since 2016, I work in the Erasmus MC department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with a focus on social obstetrics.


A complete overview of publications can be found here:

Loes Bertens

Teaching activities

I  currently supervise six PhD students and have supervised numerous research projects for master students.

Other positions

Member of the data safety monitoring board (DSMB) of the RAIN study.

Scholarships, grants, and awards

Over € 500.000 granted as principal investigator/project leader.


Current research projects I am involved in