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Prof. H. (Hanan) El Marroun

Senior researcher

  • Department
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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I am an investigator with a background in epidemiology and neuroscience. In my research, I combine these two research fields. My research focus is on periods of vulnerability and opportunity in brain development: the first 1000 days of life and adolescence. One of my research lines investigates how pregnancy health relates to later neurodevelopment in offspring. To this aim, I investigate the short- and long-term consequences of maternal, foetal and infant health on brain development later in life (structure, function, cognition and behaviour). Several environmental factors are addressed that may be of influence during this specific period (e.g. substance use, medication, nutrition, stress, urban environment and disease). A second research line concerns adolescent risk-taking behavior and substance use and how this may affect further brain development.

Field(s) of expertise

  • Epidemiology.
  • Neuroscience.
  • Biological psychology.

Education and career

I have a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and a Master of Science in Neuroscience and Master in Epidemiology.


A complete overview of publications can be found here:

Association of Gestational Age at Birth With Brain Morphometry. El Marroun H, Zou R, Leeuwenburg MF, Steegers EAP, Reiss IKM, Muetzel RL, Kushner SA, Tiemeier H.  JAMA Pediatr. 2020 Dec 1;174(12):1149-1158. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.2991. PMID: 32955580; PMCID: PMC7506610. 

Exposure to Maternal Depressive Symptoms in Fetal Life or Childhood and Offspring Brain Development: A Population-Based Imaging Study. Zou R, Tiemeier H, van der Ende J, Verhulst FC, Muetzel RL, White T, Hillegers M, El Marroun H. . Am J Psychiatry. 2019 Sep 1;176(9):702-710. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18080970. Epub 2019 May 6. PMID: 31055967.

Air Pollution Exposure During Fetal Life, Brain Morphology, and Cognitive Function in School-Age Children. Guxens M, Lubczyńska MJ, Muetzel RL, Dalmau-Bueno A, Jaddoe VWV, Hoek G, van der Lugt A, Verhulst FC, White T, Brunekreef B, Tiemeier H, El Marroun H. Biol Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 15;84(4):295-303. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.01.016. Epub 2018 Jan 31. PubMed PMID: 29530279.

Prenatal tobacco exposure and brain morphology: a prospective study in young children. El Marroun H, Schmidt MN, Franken IH, Jaddoe VW, Hofman A, van der Lugt A, Verhulst FC, Tiemeier H, White T.  Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Mar;39(4):792-800. doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.273. Epub 2013 Oct 7. PubMed PMID: 24096296; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3924517.

Maternal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, fetal growth, and risk of adverse birth outcomes. El Marroun H, Jaddoe VW, Hudziak JJ, Roza SJ, Steegers EA, Hofman A, Verhulst FC, White TJ, Stricker BH, Tiemeier H.  Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012 Jul;69(7):706-14. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.2333. PubMed PMID: 22393202.

Intrauterine cannabis exposure affects fetal growth trajectories: the Generation R Study. El Marroun H, Tiemeier H, Steegers EA, Jaddoe VW, Hofman A, Verhulst FC, van den Brink W, Huizink AC. . J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2009 Dec;48(12):1173-81. doi: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e3181bfa8ee. PubMed PMID: 19858757.

Teaching activities

At the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, I am the medical students’ master’s research coordinator, and I co-organized and teach in the minor Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Other positions

I am a full professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, at the department of Psychology, Education and Child studies at the faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Scholarships, grants, and awards

  • EUR Fellowship Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.
  • NARSAD Young Investigator grant Hersenstichting.
  • NWO Aspasia Premie.