Personal Page | dr. Fiona A. Hagenbeek

I am a behavioural geneticist with strong interest in the genetic epidemiology of substance use and mental illness. Much of my research focuses on the question why some individuals are more susceptible than others to develop an addiction or mental illness. Increased knowledge of genetic etiology will contribute to early detection and prevention of mental illness and should guide personalised treatment.

Fiona Hagenbeek (1989) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Biological Psychology and the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where she also obtained her PhD. She pursues two related research lines. First, she investigates the link between genetics and metabolomics by studying the contribution of genes and environment to blood metabolite levels in adults and urinary metabolites in children. Second, she focuses on biomarker discovery for (childhood) aggression. As part of the EU-funded ACTION project (Aggression in Children: Unraveling gene-environment interplay to inform Treatment and InterventiON strategies), she developed protocols for the collection of urine and buccal-cell samples in children (link). She applied these protocols in a large cohort of twin children of the NTR and obtained genome-wide SNP and DNA methylation data from the buccal cells and urinary metabolites from three targeted metabolomics platforms (amines, organic acids, and steroid hormones). With these datasets, she contributed to genetic, epigenetic, and metabolomic efforts for the discovery of omics markers for (childhood) aggression. Her current research focuses on integrating transmitted and non-transmitted polygenic scores together with DNA methylation and metabolomics data to investigate the intergenerational transmission of (externalizing) behavior problems in children. In addition to her research, Fiona represents the NTR in the “Connecting Data in Child Development” (CD2) project. CD2 aims to develop a FAIR digital infrastructure that encompasses harmonized metadata of six youth cohorts in the Netherlands, including the NTR. She contributes to the harmonization of data descriptions across the cohorts and harvests the NTR metadata.

dr. Fiona A. Hagenbeek

Department of Biological Psychology/Netherlands Twin Register, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

#Externalizing Behavior #Heritability #Metabolomics #Multi-Omics #Polygenic Scores #Epigenetics #Intergenerational Transmission

Key publications

  1. Hagenbeek, F. A., van Dongen, J., Pool, R., Roetman, P. J., Harms, A. C., Hottenga, J. J., Kluft, C., Colins, O. F., van Beijsterveldt, C. E. M., Fanos, V., Ehli, E. A., Hankemeier, T., Vermeiren, R. R. J. M., Bartels, M., Déjean, S., & Boomsma, D. I. (2022).
    Integrative Multi-omics Analysis of Childhood Aggressive Behavior. Behavior Genetics.



  1. Hagenbeek, F. A., van Dongen, J., Pool, R., Harms, A. C., Roetman, P. J., Fanos, V., van Keulen, B. J., Walker, B. R., Karu, N., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Rotteveel, J., Finken, M. J. J., Vermeiren, R. R. J. M., Kluft, C., Bartels, M., Hankemeier, T., & Boomsma, D. I. (2022).
    Heritability of Urinary Amines, Organic Acids, and Steroid Hormones in Children.
    Metabolites, 12(6), 1-17. [474].



  1. Hagenbeek, F. A., Roetman, P. J., Pool, R., Kluft, C., Harms, A. C., van Dongen, J., Colins, O. F., Talens, S., van Beijsterveldt, C. E. M., Vandenbosch, M. M. L. J. Z., de Zeeuw, E. L., Déjean, S., Fanos, V., Ehli, E. A., Davies, G. E., Hottenga, J. J., Hankemeier, T., Bartels, M., Vermeiren, R. R. J. M., & Boomsma, D. I. (2020). Urinary Amine and Organic Acid Metabolites Evaluated as Markers for Childhood Aggression: The ACTION Biomarker Study.
    Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, [165].



  1. Hagenbeek, F. A., Pool, R., van Dongen, J., Draisma, H. H. M., Jan Hottenga, J., Willemsen, G., Abdellaoui, A., Fedko, I. O., den Braber, A., de Geus, E. J. C. N., Bartels, M., Nivard, M. G., Boomsma, D. I., & BBMRI Metabolomics Consortium (2020). Heritability estimates for 361 blood metabolites across 40 genome-wide association studies. Nature Communications, 11(1), 1-11. [39].



  1. Hagenbeek, F. A., Kluft, C., Hankemeier, T., Bartels, M., Draisma, H. H. M., Middeldorp, C. M., Berger, R., Noto, A., Lussu, M., Pool, R., Fanos, V., & Boomsma, D. I. (2016). Discovery of Biochemical Biomarkers for Aggression: A Role for Metabolomics in Psychiatry. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 171(5), 719-732.


Grants and awards

2019: Best Presentation Award at the ACTION Consortium Meeting in Cagliari (Italy).

2019: FGB Talent Grant to support a research visit to the University of Toulouse (France).

2017: EMBL-EBI Bursary to attend the Summer School in Bioinformatics in Cambridge (UK).

2016: Behavior Genetics Association Travel Grant to attend the BGA Meeting in Brisbane (Australia).



Current postdoc position is supported by the Consortium on Individual Development (CID), funded by the Gravitation Program of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO grant number 024-001-003).

All publications