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Principal Investigator

J.A. (Jenny) Visser, PhD

  • Department
  • Internal Medicine
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Jenny Visser is an Associate Professor and head of the Metabolism and Reproduction research group. She leads a multi-disciplinary research group, comprising biologists and clinician scientists, investigating sex differences in metabolism in health and disease. 
She studied Animal Science at the Agricultural University of Wageningen and obtained her PhD in 1998 at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She was a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF, San Francisco, USA, where she identified one of the AMH type I receptors. Upon return to the Netherlands she investigated the role of AMH in ovarian function. She has been instrumental in the development of the AMH assay.

Field(s) of expertise

The general research theme of Jenny's research group is aimed at understanding sex differences in metabolism in health and disease. She applies a combination of human genetics, animal in vivo physiology, and innovative ex vivo and in vitro studies to understand how gonadal function affects metabolic function, and vice versa. Emphasis lies on the role of steroid hormones and gonadal growth factors, particularly TGFβ family members. Her research has a strong translational focus, primarily directed at gonadal and metabolic disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity, and diabetes. The acquisition of multiplexed respirometry cages provides a platform for metabolic research within Erasmus MC.
She has an extensive track record in research on the function and clinical application of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) in ovarian function. 
She participates in the Obesity Center CGG (Centrum Gezond Gewicht) to study the functional aspects of genetics of obesity and to identify serum markers to predict successful obesity treatment programs. In addition, she participates in the international research consortia Reproductive Genetics (ReproGen), and Genetics of PCOS.

Education and career

  • PhD-research: Degree obtained in 1998. Title thesis: ""Anti-Müllerian Hormone: Molecular Mechanism of Action"".
  • Postdoctoral training (1998-2001): Dept. of Physiology, UCSF, San Francisco, USA. Topic: AMH signaling.
  • Senior scientist (2001-2009), Assistent Professor (2009-2015), Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, the Netherlands
  • Associate Professor and head of Metabolism & Reproduction lab (2015-current), Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, the Netherlands

Additional training:
Female Career Development program
Leadership programs at Erasmus MC


Click here to see a complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography.

Five recent publications:

Kaikaew K, Steenbergen J, van Dijk TH, Grefhorst A, Visser JA. Sex difference in corticosterone-induced insulin resistance in mice. Endocrinology. 2019 Jul 2;. doi: 10.1210/en.2019-00194. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31265057. 

van der Valk ES, van den Akker ELT, Savas M, Kleinendorst L, Visser JA, Van Haelst MM, Sharma AM, van Rossum EFC. A comprehensive diagnostic approach to detect underlying causes of obesity in adults. Obes Rev. 2019 Jun;20(6):795-804. doi: 10.1111/obr.12836. Epub 2019 Mar 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 30821060. 

Day F, Karaderi T, Jones MR, Meun C, He C, Drong A, Kraft P, Lin N, Huang H, Broer L, Magi R, Saxena R, Laisk T, Urbanek M, Hayes MG, Thorleifsson G, Fernandez-Tajes J, Mahajan A, Mullin BH, Stuckey BGA, Spector TD, Wilson SG, Goodarzi MO, Davis L, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Uitterlinden AG, Anttila V, Neale BM, Jarvelin MR, Fauser B, Kowalska I, Visser JA, Andersen M, Ong K, Stener-Victorin E, Ehrmann D, Legro RS, Salumets A, McCarthy MI, Morin-Papunen L, Thorsteinsdottir U, Stefansson K, Styrkarsdottir U, Perry JRB, Dunaif A, Laven J, Franks S, Lindgren CM, Welt CK. Large-scale genome-wide meta-analysis of polycystic ovary syndrome suggests shared genetic architecture for different diagnosis criteria. PLoS Genet. 2018 Dec;14(12):e1007813. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007813. PubMed PMID: 30566500 

Kaikaew K, van den Beukel JC, Neggers SJCMM, Themmen APN, Visser JA, Grefhorst A. Sex difference in cold perception and shivering onset upon gradual cold exposure. J Therm Biol. 2018 Oct;77:137-144. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2018.08.016. PubMed PMID: 30196892. 

Grefhorst A, van den Beukel JC, Dijk W, Steenbergen J, Voortman GJ, Leeuwenburgh S, Visser TJ, Kersten S, Friesema ECH, Themmen APN, Visser JA. Multiple effects of cold exposure on livers of male mice. J Endocrinol. 2018 Aug;238(2):91-106. doi: 10.1530/JOE-18-0076. PubMed PMID: 29743343. 

Teaching activities

Supervised theses:

  • M.E. Kevenaar, 12 March 2008, The role of anti-Müllerian hormone in ovarian function, dysfunction and aging
  • R. Kiewiet, 5 January 2011, Medical and surgical use of the gut in the treatment of obesity
  • S. Lie Fong, 27 April 2012, Clinical application of anti-Müllerian hormone
  • E.L.A.F. van Houten, 12 November 2014, Effect of ovarian growth factors on metabolism in polycystic ovary syndrome
  • K. Kaikaew, expected 2019, Sex differences in the control of adipose tissue function
  • G. Snaterse, expected 2022, Steroid metabolome in castration resistant prostate cancer
  • K. Prins, expected 2022, The role of ghrelin in eating behaviour
  • L.M.E. Moolhuijsen, expected 2023, Regulation of Anti-Müllerian hormone in polycystic ovarian syndrome

Medical curriculum:

  • Theme- and examcoordinator 1C3
  • Lecturer 1A, 1C3, 3A

Post-Graduate School Molecular Medicine: 

  • Basic and Translational Endocrinology course

Other positions


  • Coordinator for laboratory animals for the section Endocrinology 
  • Member Educational Committee, MolMed Research School
  • Steering committee Obesity Center CGG (Centrum Gezond Gewicht)


  • member Nominating Committee, the Endocrine Society
  • Co-chair working group Special Interest Groups, The Endocrine Society
  • member Reproductive Endocrinology Focus Area Expert Panel, the European Society of Endocrinology 


  • member Editorial Board Endocrinology
  • ad hoc reviewer various journals 

Scholarships, grants, and awards


  • Health-Holland/Erasmus MC-TKI-LSH: The role of DNA damage and metabolic remodelling cross-talk between vascular and adipose tissue ageing (Co-PI)
  • Royalties AMH assay licensing (PI)
  • NHMRC Project grant: M-PreM study: Reproductive factors, from menarche to pre-menopause, and the risk of cardiometabolic and respiratory conditions before menopause (Co-PI)


PhD students under my supervision have received various (travel) awards.



Organisation of scientific meetings (selection):

  • ENDO2016 as Basic Science chair, Annual Meeting Steering Committee, The Endocrine Society, USA.
  • ECE2015 as Basic Science co-chair, Program Organizing Committee, European Congress of Endocrinology
  • ENDO2012, ENDO2013, ENDO/ICE2014. member Annual Meeting Steering Committee, The Endocrine Society, USA. 

Membership Professional Societies:

  • The Endocrine Society
  • Women in Endocrinology
  • Dutch Society of Endocrinology (NVE)
  • European Society of Endocrinology
  • Androgen Excess and PCOS Society
  • Organization for the Study of Sex Differences 

My Groups