Personal Page | Jorien Treur

My research focusses on unravelling the mechanisms that lead to comorbidity between different types of (mental) health disorders. I am particularly interested in answering causal questions. For instance, does smoking causally increase your risk of developing a depressive disorder? Or, are there causal effects between mental health disorders and cardiovascular disease, and if so, in which direction? I obtained my PhD in 2016 at the Netherlands Twin Register at VU University in Amsterdam. During my PhD project I collected and analyzed data of thousands of twins and their family members to disentangle genetic from environmental influences on mental health. After obtaining my PhD, I worked as a post-doc at Radboud University and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom where I specialized in genetic causal inference methods such as Mendelian randomization. Mendelian randomization uses genetic variants predictive of an ‘exposure’ variable as an instrument, or proxy, to test causal effects on an ‘outcome’ variable. In 2018 I joined the Genetic Epidemiology group embedded in the Department of Psychiatry at Amsterdam UMC, where I now have my own research team. We uniquely combine and triangulate different research methods – including genetic, epidemiological, and experimental studies – to answer important causal health questions.

dr. Jorien Treur

Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam Amsterdam Neuroscience; Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences

#Comorbidity #Substance Use #Mental Health #Cardiovascular Disease #Causality #Triangulation

Grants and Awards


My work has so far been awarded with a Rubicon grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO; 2017-2018), a Veni grant from NWO (2018-2022), a Young Investigator (NARSAD) Grant from the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation (2019), a Dekker Senior Scientist grant from the Dutch Heart Foundation (2022-2026), and most recently, a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC; 2023-2028).

Key publications

  1. Taylor, G.M.J., Treur, J.L. (2023). An application of the stress-diathesis model: A review about the association between smoking tobacco, smoking cessation, and mental health. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 23(1); 100335.


  1. Veeneman, R.R., Vermeulen, J.M., Abdellaoui, A., Sanderson, E., Wootton, R.E., Tadros, R., Bezzina, C.R., Denys, D., Munafò, M.R., Verweij, K.J.H., Treur, J.L. (2022). Exploring the relationship between schizophrenia and cardiovascular disease: a genetic correlation and multivariable Mendelian randomization study. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 48(2): 463-473


  1. Logtenberg, E., Overbeek, M.F., Pasman, J.A., Abdellaoui, A., Luijten, M., van Holst, R.J., Vink, J.M., Denys, D., Medland, S.E., Verweij, K.J.H., Treur, J.L. (2022) Investigating the causal nature of the relationship of subcortical brain volume with smoking and alcohol use. British Journal of Psychiatry, 221(1): 377-385.


  1. Treur, J.L., Munafò, M.R., Logtenberg, E., Wiers, R.W., & Verweij, K.J.H. (2021). Using Mendelian randomization analysis to better understand the relationship between substance use and mental health: A systematic review. Psychological Medicine, 51 (10); 1593-1624.


  1. Treur, J.L., Demontis, D., Davey Smith, G., Sallis, H., Richardson, T.G., Wiers, R.W., Borglum, A.D., Verweij, K.J.H., Munafò, M.R. (2021). Investigating causality between liability to ADHD and substane use, and liability to substance use and ADHD risk, using Mendelian randomization. Addiction Biology, 26(1): e12849.

All publications

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