Marion I. van den Heuvel, PhD
Dr. Marion van den Heuvel is a tenured Assistant Professor at the Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. She obtained her Bachelor in Health Sciences in 2009 at Maastricht University, The Netherlands, with a major in Mental Health Sciences. In 2012 she graduated cum laude from the Research Master in Social and Behavioral Sciences at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. During her graduate work, Marion examined the effects of maternal anxiety and mindfulness during pregnancy on the neurocognitive functioning in infants and young children. Marion was then awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship from Wayne State University to work with Dr. Moriah Thomason at the Perinatology Research Branch of NICHD/NIH. During her postdoc she continued her research in the field of developmental programming and expanded her knowledge to fetal fMRI and sleep research. In her current work she combines expertise gained throughout her career to understand how early life influences can guide brain development from the early beginning.
In 2019, Marion received a Veni grant from NWO (Dutch Research Foundation) to investigate brain-to-brain connectivity in mother-infant dyads. In 2020, she received the Sara van Dam Project Grant from the Dutch Royal Acadamy of Sciences to extend her research on mother-infant neural synchrony to an Israeli cohort of war-exposed mothers. In 2021, Marion was nominated for New Scientist Research Talent.
Marion’s research is centered on neurobiological investigation of early life influences and trauma on children’s risk for socio-emotional problems. The overarching goal of Marion’s career path is to combine new advances in psychobiology with neuropsychological investigation to understand underlying mechanisms of socio-emotional brain development, beginning in utero, and to, ultimately, develop successful interventions targeting children at-risk for developing emotional problems in later life.