prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

Full Professor
prof. dr. S. (Sarah) Durston

Research Programs




Sarah Durston obtained her PhD at the Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neuroscience in 2003, working with Professors van Engeland, Buitelaar and Hilleke Hulshoff Pol. In her thesis, she combined structural and functional neuroimaging techniques and she spent two formative years working with Professor BJ Casey at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology in New York. When she returned, she successfully defended her PhD and started a faculty position at the Department of Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry. Here, she started her lab, the NICHE Neuroimaging lab, and continued to collaborate actively with Professor Casey in New York. In that first year, she managed to obtain a VENI grant from NWO, providing essential funding for her work. The lab worked on developmental disorders. The first PhD-students were Martijn Mulder (currently post-doc at the UvA), Marieke Langen (who stayed with the lab as a faculty member after her PhD defence and only recently left) and Tim Ziermans (currently post-doc at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm), working respectively on ADHD, autism and adolescents risk for psychosis. In 2006, Sarah obtained an NWO VIDI grant and new PhD-students joined, Patrick de Zeeuw (currently post-doc with the lab, and simultaneously training as a clinical psychologist), Janna van Belle (completing her PhD) and Sanne de Wit (completing her PhD). The lab was further strengthened by the addition of several RAs to work on the various projects.  With the award of a VICI-grant, as well as several other collaborative grants, the lab grew again and currently includes approximately 15 people (RAs, PhD-students, post-docs, as well as Bob Oranje who is a faculty member and vice-head of the lab). Our work continues to focus on how (genetic and environmental) risks for developmental disorders translate to brain function, structure and connectivity and how this in turn – ultimately- translates to behavioural development. 

Research line

Brain development in developmental disorders

Most recent key publications

1: De Zeeuw P, Weusten J, Van Dijk S, Van Belle J, Durston S: Deficits in cognitive control, timing and reward processing are dissociable in ADHD. PlosOne, in press
2: De Zeeuw P, Mandl RM, Hulshoff Pol HE, Van Engeland H, Durston S: Decreased fronto-striatal structural connectivity in ADHD. Human Brain Mapping, 2012;33(8):1941-1951
3: Durston S, van Belle J, de Zeeuw P: Differentiating frontostriatal and fronto-cerebellar circuits in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Biological Psychiatry 2011;69(12):1178-1184
4: Langen M, Schnack HG, Nederveen H, Bos D, Lahuis BE, van Engeland H, Durston S: Changes in developmental trajectories of striatum in autism. Biol Psychiatry, 2009;66(4):327-333
5: Durston S, Fossella JA, Casey BJ, Hulshoff Pol HE, Galvan, A, Schnack HG, Steenhuis MP, Minderaa RB, Buitelaar JK, Kahn RS, Van Engeland H: Differential effects of DRD4 and DAT1 genotype on fronto-striatal gray matter volumes in a sample of subjects with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, their unaffected siblings and controls. Molecular Psychiatry 2005;10(7):678-685

Side Activities

Chair, Stichting Bewustzijn en Wetenschap, January 2020 ->

Fellow, University of Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Study, January 2021 - December 2022

Member of Scientific Advisory Board to the Essentia Foundation, 2020 ->

Member of European Network on Hyperactivity Disorders, 2003 ->

Fellowship and Awards

NWO Gravitation grant ‘Individual development’; co-applicant (2012)
EU FP7 Translational interventions in Compulsive Syndromes (TACTICS); co-applicant (2012)
NWO VICI grant ‘ADHD: from behaviour to biology’ (2011)
NWO VIDI grant ‘Profiling ADHD: genes, brain and behaviour’ (2006)
NWO VENI grant ‘Genetic risk for ADHD in brain function’ (2003)

Research Output (173)

Linking functional and structural brain organisation with behaviour in autism:a multimodal EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP) study

Oblong Lennart M., Llera Alberto, Mei Ting, Haak Koen, Isakoglou Christina, Floris Dorothea L., Durston Sarah, Moessnang Carolin, Banaschewski Tobias, Baron-Cohen Simon, Loth Eva, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Charman Tony, Murphy Declan G.M., Ecker Christine, Buitelaar Jan K., Beckmann Christian F., Forde Natalie J., Dec 2023, In: Molecular Autism. 14 , p. 1-13 13 p.

The neuroanatomical substrates of autism and ADHD and their link to putative genomic underpinnings

Berg Lisa M., Gurr Caroline, Leyhausen Johanna, Seelemeyer Hanna, Bletsch Anke, Schaefer Tim, Pretzsch Charlotte M., Oakley Bethany, Loth Eva, Floris Dorothea L., Buitelaar Jan K., Beckmann Christian F., Banaschewski Tobias, Charman Tony, Jones Emily J.H., Tillmann Julian, Chatham Chris H., Bourgeron Thomas, Ahmad Jumana, Ambrosino Sara, Auyeung Bonnie, Baron-Cohen Simon, Baumeister Sarah, Bölte Sven, Bours Carsten, Brammer Michael, Brandeis Daniel, Brogna Claudia, de Bruijn Yvette, Chakrabarti Bhismadev, Cornelissen Ineke, Crawley Daisy, Dell’Acqua Flavio, Dumas Guillaume, Durston Sarah, Faulkner Jessica, Frouin Vincent, Garcés Pilar, Goyard David, Ham Lindsay, Hayward Hannah, Hipp Joerg, Holt Rosemary, Johnson Mark H., Kundu Prantik, Lai Meng Chuan, D’Ardhuy Xavier Liogier, Lombardo Michael V., Mandl René, Oranje Bob, 4 Oct 2023, In: Molecular Autism. 14 , p. 1-14

A human leukocyte antigen imputation study uncovers possible genetic interplay between gut inflammatory processes and autism spectrum disorders

Lombardi Laura, Le Clerc Sigrid, Wu Ching-Lien, Bouassida Jihène, Boukouaci Wahid, Sugusabesan Sobika, Richard Jean-Romain, Lajnef Mohamed, Tison Maxime, Le Corvoisier Philippe, Barau Caroline, Banaschewski Tobias, Holt Rosemary, Durston Sarah, Persico Antonio M, Oakley Bethany, Loth Eva, Buitelaar Jan, Murphy Declan, Leboyer Marion, Zagury Jean-François, Tamouza Ryad 6 Jul 2023, In: Translational Psychiatry. 13 , p. 1-13 13 p.

Clonidine augmentation in patients with schizophrenia:A double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial

Kruiper Caitlyn, Sommer Iris E.C., Koster Michiel, Bakker P. Roberto, Durston Sarah, Oranje Bob May 2023, In: Schizophrenia Research. 255 , p. 148-154 7 p.

Cross-sectional and longitudinal neuroanatomical profiles of distinct clinical (adaptive) outcomes in autism

Pretzsch Charlotte M, Floris Dorothea L, Schäfer Tim, Bletsch Anke, Gurr Caroline, Lombardo Michael V, Chatham Chris H, Tillmann Julian, Charman Tony, Arenella Martina, Jones Emily, Ambrosino Sara, Bourgeron Thomas, Dumas Guillaume, Cliquet Freddy, Leblond Claire S, Loth Eva, Oakley Bethany, Buitelaar Jan K, Baron-Cohen Simon, Beckmann Christian F, Persico Antonio M, Banaschewski Tobias, Durston Sarah, Freitag Christine M, Murphy Declan G M, Ecker Christine, 29 Mar 2023, In: Molecular Psychiatry. 28 , p. 2158-2169 12 p.

Processing of social and monetary rewards in autism spectrum disorders

Baumeister Sarah, Moessnang Carolin, Bast Nico, Hohmann Sarah, Aggensteiner Pascal, Kaiser Anna, Tillmann Julian, Goyard David, Charman Tony, Ambrosino Sara, Baron-Cohen Simon, Beckmann Christian, Bölte Sven, Bourgeron Thomas, Rausch Annika, Crawley Daisy, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Dumas Guillaume, Durston Sarah, Ecker Christine, Floris Dorothea L., Frouin Vincent, Hayward Hannah, Holt Rosemary, Johnson Mark H., Jones Emily J.H., Lai Meng Chuan, Lombardo Michael V., Mason Luke, Oakley Bethany, Oldehinkel Marianne, Persico Antonio M., San José Cáceres Antonia, Wolfers Thomas, Loth Eva, Murphy Declan G.M., Buitelaar Jan K., Tost Heike, Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas, Banaschewski Tobias, Brandeis Daniel, 1 Mar 2023, In: The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. 222 , p. 100-111 12 p.

Normative mammillary body volumes:From the neonatal period to young adult

Vann Seralynne D, Zachiu Cornel, Meys Karlijn M E, Ambrosino Sara, Durston Sarah, de Vries Linda S, Groenendaal Floris, Lequin Maarten H Dec 2022, In: Neuroimage. Reports. 2 , p. 1-7

The Link Between Autism and Sex-Related Neuroanatomy, and Associated Cognition and Gene Expression

Floris Dorothea L, Peng Han, Warrier Varun, Lombardo Michael V, Pretzsch Charlotte M, Moreau Clara, Tsompanidis Alex, Gong Weikang, Mennes Maarten, Llera Alberto, van Rooij Daan, Oldehinkel Marianne, Forde Natalie J, Charman Tony, Tillmann Julian, Banaschewski Tobias, Moessnang Carolin, Durston Sarah, Holt Rosemary J, Ecker Christine, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Loth Eva, Bourgeron Thomas, Murphy Declan G M, Marquand Andre F, Lai Meng-Chuan, Buitelaar Jan K, Baron-Cohen Simon, Beckmann Christian F, 23 Nov 2022, In: American Journal of Psychiatry. 180 , p. 50-64 15 p.

Lost in explanation:internal conflicts in the discourse of ADHD psychoeducation

van Langen Myrte J.M., Szőke Rebeka, Rijkelijkhuizen Dominique N.J., Durston Sarah, van Hulst Branko M. 8 Nov 2022, In: BMC Psychiatry. 22

Cerebellar Atypicalities in Autism?

Laidi Charles, Floris Dorothea L., Tillmann Julian, Elandaloussi Yannis, Zabihi Mariam, Charman Tony, Wolfers Thomas, Durston Sarah, Moessnang Carolin, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Ecker Christine, Loth Eva, Murphy Declan, Baron-Cohen Simon, Buitelaar Jan K., Marquand Andre F., Beckmann Christian F., Frouin Vincent, Leboyer Marion, Duchesnay Edouard, Coupé Pierrick, Houenou Josselin, 15 Oct 2022, In: Biological Psychiatry. 92 , p. 674-682 9 p.

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