Prof. Bernet Elzinga, PhD

Position:
  • Full professor
  • Chair Ethics Committee Psychology
Expertise:
  • Stress-related psychopathology, PTSD, depression
  • Psychological, cognitive and neurobiological consequences of acute & chronic stress


Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 3745
E-Mail: elzinga@fsw.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut Psychologie, Klinische Psychologie
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2B39


Academic Career

  • Full professor ‘Stress-related Psychopathology’, Clinical Health and Neuropsychology, Leiden University (2011-present)
  • Associate professor (UHD), Clinical Health and Neuropsychology, Leiden University (2008-2010)
  • Assistant professor (UD), Clinical Health and Neuropsychology, Leiden University (2002-2007)
  • PhD. Cum Laude. Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Department of Psychiatry, Free University (VU).
    Title of thesis: Searching for amnesia. Cognitive and neurobiological studies on trauma-related memory (2002)
  • Researcher at ‘Yale Trauma Research Program’, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Neurobiological research on the effects of early trauma in PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder on the HPA-axis and neural functioning (2002)
  • MA. cum laude, Philosophy, University of Amsterdam (2002)
  • Postdoctoral training for Cognitive Behavior Therapist (BIG registration Psychotherapist 2004, GZ-psychologist 2004)
  • MA. cum laude, Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychology, University of Amsterdam (1996).

Academic Awards

  • NWO - VIDI laureate 2008 (Grant for outstanding young researchers who are among the top 10-20% of their peer group). Title: Genetic vulnerability factors mediating the effects of childhood abuse on brain structures and functions.
  • Fellow of the ‘Young Academy’ (DJA) of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected in 2006).
  • NWO – VENI laureate 2003 (Grant for outstanding young researchers who are among the top 10-20% of their peer group). Title: ‘The role of prefrontal inhibition on persistent trauma-related fear in PTSD’.

Main Research Interests

  • My main research interest concerns the impact of (specific types of) childhood abuse on brain structures and functions related to affect and memory in stress-related disorders, including depression and anxiety (PhD project Anne-Laura van Harmelen), bipolar disorder (PhD Manja Koenders), and patients with Borderline personality disorder (Annegret Krause, Charlotte van Schie). Moreover, related to the neurobiological changes we also investigate the long term effects of childhood abuse (and acute stressors) on BDNF (PhD project of Marc Molendijk).
  • Given the individual differences in response to childhood abuse, a second major research interest is concerned with the question how the impact of childhood abuse is moderated by vulnerability and resilience factors (PhD project of Marc Molendijk, Steven van der Werff).
  • Another line of research focuses on the intergenerational transmission of abuse, and the underlying neuronal pathways of emotional reactivity (PhD projects Lisa van den Berg and Laura de Block)

Teaching

I am involved in the interdisciplinary minor in 'Child Abuse and Neglect, a lifetime perspective', where I also coordinate the course ‘Psychological and neurobiological consequences of child abuse. I further supervise (research) master students during their thesis and internships.

Dissertations (PhD projects)

  • Charlotte van Schie (ongoing), State self-esteem in borderline personality disorder. Prom./coprom: Prof. dr. B.M. Elzinga, Prof. dr. W. J. Heiser, Prof. dr. S.A.R.B. Rombouts.
  • Manja Koenders (ongoing), Effects of stressful life events, social support and cognitive functioning on longitudinally assessed mood in patients with bipolar disorder. Prom./coprom: Prof. dr. B.M. Elzinga, Prof. dr. Ph. Spinhoven, dr. A.T. Spijker, dr. E.J. Giltay
  • Bert van Klaveren (ongoing), Mentalization-Based Treatment with and without Competitive Memory Training for patients with borderline personality disorder. Prom./coprom: Prof. dr. Ph. Spinhoven, Dr. K. Korrelboom, Prof. dr. B.M. Elzinga
  • Lisa van den Berg (ongoing), Intergenerational transmission of childhood abuse. Prom./coprom: Prof. dr. B.M. Elzinga, Prof. dr. Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Dr. Marieke Tollenaar
  • Steven van der Werff (ongoing). Resilience and vulnerabilty to stress. Prom./coprom: Prof. Dr. Nic van der Wee, Prof. dr. Frans Zitman, Prof. dr.B.M. Elzinga
  • Laura de Block (ongoing). Genetic, biological, and environmental factors in child maltreatment: An intergenerational perspective. Prom./coprom: Prof. dr. Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Prof. Dr. Lenneke Alink, Prof. dr. B.M. Elzinga
  • Annegret Krause (ongoing). Emotional distraction and working memory in Borderline Personality Disorder. Prom./coprom: Prof. dr. Dr. B.M. Elzinga, Prof. dr. Ph. Spinhoven, Prof. Dr. C.S. Schmahl and Prof. Dr. M. Bohus (Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany)
  • Marc Molendijk (2014). The role of BDNF in anxiety and depression. Prom./coprom: Prof. dr. B.M. Elzinga, Prof. dr. Ph. Spinhoven, Prof. dr. B. Penninx.
  • Anne-Laura van Harmelen (2013). The impact of stressful life events on brain structures and functions related to memory performance. Prom./coprom: Prof. dr. B.M. Elzinga, Prof. dr. Ph. Spinhoven, Prof. dr. B. Penninx.
  • Nicole Y.L. Oei (2010). Memory function after stress: the effects of acute stress and cortisol on memory and the inhibition of emotional distraction. Prom./coprom: Prof. Dr. B.M. Elzinga, Prof. dr. Ph. Spinhoven.
  • Marieke S. Tollenaar (2009). Fading memories. The impact of stress hormones on the retrieval of emotional memories. Prom./coprom: Prof. Dr. B.M. Elzinga, Prof. dr. Ph. Spinhoven, Prof. dr. W.T.A.M. Everaerd.

Publications

For a complete list of journal and book publications click on the tab Published work at the top of this page.

Clinical registrations

  • BIG register Psychotherapeut (# 99057185116, registered 2002)
  • BIG register GZ psycholoog (# 79057185125, registered 2004)

Ancilliary Positions

  • Chair of the Ethics Committee of Psychology (2014- present)
  • Member of the board of Clinical and Health psychology (2013- present)
  • Advisor of the ‘Landelijke Expertisecentrum Bijzondere Zedenzaken’ (LEBZ, 2009-present)
  • Member Management Team en co-chair hotspot ‘Stress and Emotion’ of the ‘Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition’ (LIBC) (2012- present)
  • Member Management Team Leiden Interdisciplinary Network Child Maltreatment (LINC) (since 2010)
  • Member Management Team University Profile Area ‘Health, prevention and the Human life cycle’ , Leiden University (since 2011)
  • Member examination committee Leiden Honours Academy (since  2012)
  • Editorial Boards: European Journal of Psychotraumatology, Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience  

Last Modified: 17-02-2016