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Biological Underpinnings of Psychopathology



This course consists of small-group interactive seminars and addresses current biological developments and challenges in clinical psychology and psychiatry.

The course will provide an overview of biological approaches to one of the major psychiatric disorders, as well as in-depth knowledge of one of the biological systems or pathways that are currently linked to the development and maintenance of psychiatric disorders. In the 2016 edition of this course, these foci will be mood disorders and the gut/brain axis, respectively.
Expert speakers will provide in depth lectures on biological mechanisms and interventions that are related to psychiatric outcome. These lectures will aid students in writing their own research proposal, which consists of a critical review of the literature relevant to the chosen topic, and a proposal for future research.

Course objectives

After successful completion of this course, you will:
1. Know the state of the art regarding biological approaches to one of the major psychiatric disorders
2. Have gained in-depth knowledge on a specific biological system or pathway that is linked to psychopathology
3. Know how to translate scientific questions regarding this topic into a research proposal
4. Have gained experience with presenting a research proposal

Reading list

To be announced.

Assessment method

The assessment of the course is based on individual grading of: – exam (35% of grade) – research proposal (65% of grade)


Prof.dr.A.J.W. van der Does (coordinator)
Dr. A.T Spijker
Dr. E.J. Giltay (LUMC)
M.A. Koenders MSc (contactperson )
D. Hamstra MSc