MEFAB study group
Prof. dr. Maurice Zeegers
T: +31 43 388 2012 (secretariat)
Location: Department of Complex Genetics, Maastricht University
Dr. Marij Gielen
T: +31 43 3881012
Marij got her Certificate Medical Doctor Exam (MD) at Maastricht University in 1990. Since 2008 she was appointed assistant professor at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Her research focus is “programming of the cardiometabolic risk factors in the prenatal and early postnatal period”. She became experienced in birth cohorts: East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS) (www.twins.be), Birmingham Registry for Twin and Heritability Studies; BiRTHS), a Belgian twin cohort in the province of Limburg (University of Hasselt, belgium). In 2010 she became in charge of the MEFAB (management board and scientific board of Maastricht Essential Fatty Acids Birth) Cohort, a cohort focusing on the role of essential fatty acids during pregnancy and further development of the child. This gives the opportunity to study early programming of cardiometabolic risk factors in depth.
Prof. dr. Renate de Groot
T: +31 45 5762276
Renate is appointed as Full Professor Biopsychology of Learning at the Welten Institute, Research Centre for Learning, Teaching, and Technologies, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands, and Honorary Associate Professor at the department of Complex Genetics, Maastricht University. She has an interdisciplinary background in the health sciences, neuropsychology, neurosciences as well as the educational sciences.
Renate’s scientific interest is centred on the biopsychological determinants (physical activity, nutrition, and sleep) of learning and cognition in lifelong perspective. Both observational studies as well as intervention studies are part of her core business. In 2003 she wrote her PhD thesis, entitled Fatty acids, Pregnancy, and Cognition. This work is one of the results of MEFAB.
Currently Renate is involved in studies dealing with the effects of nutritional interventions (omega-3 LCPUFAs) on academic achievement, cognitive performance and mental-wellbeing (Food2Learn) and ‘The Healthy Elementary Dayschool of the Future’, besides many other studies dealing with the biological determinants of learning (GOALS, ALOUD, SmartMoves!)
In addition, Renate is board member of ISSFAL (International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids). Renate also played an important role in the foundation of the ethical committee of the Open University and is now a well-respected board member of this committee. Recently Renate is applied as research coordinator of the Welten Institute.
Dr. Roger Godschalk
T: +31 43 388 11 04
Roger graduated in Biological Health Sciences in 1995 at the Maastricht University (The Netherlands). He specialized in genetic toxicology and molecular epidemiology. Dr. Godschalk’s research focuses on the assessment of DNA damage in in vitro cell-cultures, animals and humans exposed to mutagenic compounds from exogenous and endogenous origin. In 1999 he obtained his PhD at the Dept. of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology at the University of Maastricht with his thesis entitled "Biomarkers for exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons". After that, Dr. Godschalk joined the Department of Toxicology and Cancer Risk Factors at the German Cancer Research Center (Heidelberg, Germany) until October 2002. In January 2001, Dr. Godschalk received a Marie-Curie fellowship, to perform a 2 year study on the role of DNA lesions induced by lipid peroxidation in the etiology of atherosclerosis. In this interdisciplinary project, knowledge from the field of carcinogenesis was applied in the research area of atherosclerosis. Dr. Godschalk was appointed assistant professor at the University of Maastricht in November 2002, and his current research activities focus on the biological consequences of DNA damage and subsequent preventive mechanisms of the cell, with special emphasis on transgenerational effects in toxicology and early origins of health and disease.
Nikos Stratakis, MSc
T: +31 43 3881274
Nikos received his BSc degree in Dietetics and Nutritional Science from Harokopio University (Greece) in 2009. In 2013, he completed the MSc programme in Nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey (United Kingdom) and won the award for outstanding student of the year. Nikos joined the Maastricht University as a PhD student in September 2013. His research interest focuses on the impact of early exposure to essential fatty acids on later development and health (early life programming).
Inge van der Wurff, MSc
T : + 31 45 5762909
Inge is a PhD student at the Open University in Heerlen. She studied Nutrition and Health at Wageningen University. Currently, she studying the association between fatty acids during pregnancy and during life and cognitive and school performance in children and adolescents.