Personal Page | dr. Sophie van der Sluis

Dr. Sophie van der Sluis is Associate professor at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, section Complex Trait Genetics, at the VU Medical Center, which is associated to Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam (NCA) and the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR). She studied psychology, focusing on psychological methods, at the University of Amsterdam and after graduating cum laude, she obtained her PhD in 2005 on research related to working memory capacity in children with learning deficiencies.

Between 2005 and 2009, van der Sluis worked as a post doc at the University of Amsterdam and the VU University Amsterdam. In 2009, she received a personal NWO-VENI grant, which allowed her to focus her research on psychometric issues in the context of behavioural genetics research. In 2013, she received an NWO-VIDI grant allowing her to continue this research.

Van der Sluis’ research focusses on the question how heritability estimates, and genetic association signals are affected by choices concerning the operationalization (i.e., conceptualization, measurement and modelling) of the phenotypes involved. Additionally, she is interested in the study of comorbidity, and how genetic information can be used to uncover the biology underlying comorbidity. Furthermore, she is interested in statistical challenges related to study design in the field of neuroscience.

Topics that feature prominently in her research are: uni- versus multivariate analyses, genetic heterogeneity, comorbidity, and multi-level modelling.
these fields, Van der Sluis closely collaborates with Prof Danielle Posthuma (VU Medical Center and VU University Amsterdam), Prof Conor Dolan (VU University), and Prof Matthijs Verhage (VU University).

dr. Sophie van der Sluis

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychiatry, section Complex Trait Genetics, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

#GWAS #Complex Traits #Genetic Heterogeneity #Comorbidity #Statistical Genetics

Key publications

  1. Aarts, E., Verhage, M., Heenvliet, J.V., Dolan, C.V., & van der Sluis, S. (2014). A solution to dependency: using multilevel analysis to accommodate nested data. Nat Neurosci, doi: 10.1038/nn.3648


  1. Nagel, M. Watanabe, K., Stringer, S., Posthuma, D., & Van der Sluis, S. (2018). Item-level analyses reveal genetic heterogeneity in neuroticism. Nat Commun, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03242-8


  1. Nagel, M., Jansen, P.R., Stringer, S., Watanabe, K., de Leeuw, C.A., Bryois, J., Savage, J.E., Hammerschlag, A.R., Skene, N., Muñoz-Manchado, A.B., the 23andMe Research Team, Linnarsson, S., Hjerling-Leffler, J., White, T.J.H., Tiemeier, H., Polderman, T.J.C., Sullivan, P.F., van der Sluis, S., & Posthuma, D. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for neuroticism in 449,484 individuals identifies new genetic loci and pathways, Nat Genet, doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0151-7


  1. Romero, C., Werme, J., Jansen, P.R., Gelernter, J., Stein, M.B., Levey, D., Polimanti, R., de Leeuw, C., Posthuma, D., & van der Sluis, S. (2022). Exploring the genetic overlap between twelve psychiatric disorders. Nat Genet.


  1. Brunner, J.W., Lammertse, H.C.A., van Berkel, A.A., Koopmans, F., Li, K.W., Smit, A.B., Toonen, R.F., Verhage, M., van der Sluis, S. (2022). Power and optimal study design in iPSC-based brain disease modelling. Mol Psychiatry.

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