Joost started his career in neuroscience as an undergraduate student in 2004. Through a series of internships at the VU University and the VU medical center in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) as well as University of Western Ontario in London (Canada), he learned a lot about the brain’s reward systems and how they can get ‘hijacked’ by drugs of abuse when a person becomes addicted.
Since obtaining his Master of Science degree in Neuroscience, Joost’s research interests have been shifting towards various cognitive functions. For his PhD research in Amsterdam, he studied neural mechanisms underlying impulse control and attention. During his postdoctoral research projects at Princeton University and Rutgers University in the USA, the focus was on short-term memory and decision-making.
Joost recently received a 2-year fellowship from Linköping University (Sweden) to study the role of inflammation in depression. This exciting new research project will hopefully form a stepping stone to starting his own research group, in which he wants to explore how the brain orchestrates higher-order behaviors and cognition, and how these processes get disturbed when people suffer from mental disorders or neurological diseases.
Joost has been a core collaborator of Extraordinary Brains since its conception in early 2017. His affinity with the project stems in part from exposure to various neurodevelopmental conditions in his family. Joost’s personal experiences have strengthened his belief that neurodevelopmental conditions come with strengths as well as weaknesses. Through Extraordinary Brains, Joost wants to actively contribute to creating acceptance, and generating understanding that ultimately will help to develop support measures. This will harness the advantages of neurodiversity in society, while minimizing the burden for people with neurodevelopmental condition.
When not at work, Joost likes to spend time in the outdoors (running, hiking, biking and kayaking), do yoga, and hang out with family and friends for a movie, a board game or a drink.
Read more about Joost’s scientific career on LinkedIn.