MSc Chemistry, 2002
PhD Biomedical Engineering, 2007
My research is focused at the application of advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques and innovative data analysis methods in clinical neuro-radiological settings.
Currently, I am an Assistant Professor in Radiology and aim to answer clinically relevant neurological and neurobehavioral questions using these MRI and analysis techniques, in order to obtain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and to improve treatment and care for people with cognitive disorders and other neurological disorders.
This approach has been proven very successful for epilepsy, psychogenic seizures, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral small vessel disease, and recently also diabetes mellitus type II (T2DM). Frequently, I receive requests to review related manuscripts for prestigious journals, and to provide my expert opinion in various media outlets. In 2011, I was prominently featured in “Conversations with Academics: Secrets of Promising PhD Scholars Revealed”, by Dr Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore, ISBN 0473183803.
For my PhD thesis and my first postdoctoral fellowship, I investigated the use of MRI techniques to study epilepsy-related brain abnormalities. This innovative MRI approach was established in both patients with chronic epilepsy and an animal model of epileptogenesis (Young Investigators’ Award 2007). For my second post-doc at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NY, USA, I applied MRI and PET techniques to study tumors in patients with head and neck cancer. My research was aimed at investigating the predictive value of these techniques, and aiding the diagnosis by exploring the synergy between the measurements (Prevent Cancer Fellowship 2009). Currently, I still collaborate with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in multi-parametric oncologic head and neck imaging.
After my return as faculty to Maastricht, I continued innovative MRI research in chronic epilepsy and other cognitive disorders, in combination with novel, advanced analysis techniques. I initiated the neuroimaging research lines of diabetes mellitus type II (prestigious VENI grant 2010) and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (collaboration Ghent University Hospital). I am also involved in research focused on the development and application of MRI techniques to study blood brain barrier dysfunction in Alzheimer’s Disease and cerebral small vessel disease. Moreover, I commenced neurotransmitter spectroscopy in epilepsy, diabetes, autism, and multiple sclerosis. This research line has recently been extended to ultra-high field MRI (SWOL research grant 2014).
I am a dedicated educator, and proud supervisor of 14 PhD students. Notably, two of them reside in Bangalore, India, as I consider it to be important to share our knowledge and experience with underdeveloped countries. Furthermore, I am responsible in Maastricht for the clinical radiology rotation for TU/e Biomedical Engineering MSc students.