Home  Research  Education  Publications  Events  Organization  People  News
Meike W. Vernooij



Meike W. Vernooij

Phone+31 (0)10 70 30944

Biographical Sketch

POSITION TITLE: Professor of Population Imaging


Institution and location Degree Completion Date Field of Study
Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences MSc 08/2000 Epidemiology
Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands MD 08/2002 Medicine
Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands PhD 03/2009 Medicine
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Medical
03/2011 Radiology
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Fellowship 03/2012 Neuroradiology and Head & Neck Radiology
European Society of Neuroradiology Certification 09/2012 European Certification of Neuroradiology

Personal Statement

Over the past 10 years, my research has focused on how the brain ages, how neurodegeneration develops and how we can study this process with brain imaging. I have a high level of expertise on a wide range of structural and functional brain imaging markers and have extensively published on these in relation to brain aging, cognition and dementia (over 120 publications, with over 90% in top 25% journals in respective fields). I am trained in epidemiology (MSc) and radiology (MD, PhD, clinical fellowship in neuroradiology), which is the ideal combination to explore brain imaging in a population-based setting. I have strong collaborations with groups in biomedical image processing (for extraction of relevant imaging markers) and epidemiology and biostatistics (for applying advanced mediation analyses). Moreover, the scientific environment of The Rotterdam Study is perfectly suitable to answer the research questions in this proposal, with a unique dataset of longitudinal lifestyle, imaging and cognitive data. As a principal investigator of The Rotterdam Study I have the network, data access and the research team to address this topic successfully.

Selected publications that highlight my experience are:
• Raji CA, Eyre H, Wei SH, Bredesen DE, Moylan S, Law M, Small G, Thompson PM, Friedlander RM, Silverman DH, Baune BT, Hoang TA, Salamon N, Toga AW, Vernooij MW. Hot Topics in Research: Preventive Neuroradiology in Brain Aging and Cognitive Decline. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 Oct;36(10):1803-9. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A4409. Epub 2015 Jun 4.
• de Groot M, Ikram MA, Akoudad S, Krestin GP, Hofman A, van der Lugt A, Niessen WJ, Vernooij MW. Tract-specific white matter degeneration in aging. The Rotterdam Study. Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Mar;11(3):321-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2014.06.011.
• Bos D, Vernooij MW, de Bruijn RF, Koudstaal PJ, Hofman A, Franco OH, van der Lugt A. Atherosclerotic calcification is related to a higher risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Jun;11(6):639-647.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2014.05.1758.
• Vernooij MW, Ikram MA, Tanghe H, Vincent A, Hofman A, Krestin G, Breteler M, Van der Lugt A. Incidental findings on brain MRI in the general population. The New England Journal of Medicine 2007; 357:1821-1828.

Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

2017 – current: Professor of Population Imaging, Erasmus MC, NL

2014 – 2017: Associate professor, Depts. of Epidemiology and Radiology, Erasmus MC, NL
2012 – current: Neuroradiologist, Dept. of Radiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, NL
2014: Visiting scholar, JPK Stroke research center, MGH, Boston, USA
2011 – 2014: Assistant professor, Depts. of Epidemiology and Radiology, Erasmus MC, NL
2009 – 2011: Postdoctorate researcher, Dept. of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, NL
2002 – 2011: Radiologist in training, Dept. of Radiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, NL
2005 – 2009: PhD research project, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, NL

Other Experience and Professional Memberships
2002 - current: Member, Dutch Society of Radiology
2003 - current: Member, Radiological Society of North America
2007 - 2008: Editorial staff of Nihes Broadcast magazine
2006 - 2008: Member, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
2009 - 2020: Chief resident in Radiology
2010 - current: Member, Dutch Society of Neuroradiology
2010 - current: Member, European Society of Neuroradiology
2010 - current: Writing committee for Wellcome Trust Incidental Findings working group
2011 - current: Staff teacher in Nihes Research School
2011 - 2012: Female Career Development Program (leadership course for females)
2012 - current: Member of imaging advisory board of UK Biobank
2012 - current: Coordinator in Junior Medical School of Erasmus MC
2014 - current: Member of Editorial Board for e-learning, European Society of Radiology
2014 - current: Member of Young Erasmus Network (a network of selected academics of Erasmus University, who advise the Board of Directors on research and educational policy)

2014: Lucien Appel Prize of Neuroradiology of the European Society of Neuroradiology (ESNR)
2009: Samsung Notebook Talent Award for successful women in The Netherlands
2009: Best thesis award of Erasmus University
2008: Lourens Penning Prize for Neuroradiology, Dutch neuroradiology society
2006: First prize ‘Brains at Work’ competition in Advanced Brain Imaging, GE Healthcare
2004: Award for best graduate in Medicine at Erasmus University
1997: Full Scholarship to follow courses in health services research and clinical epidemiology and obtain a Master of Science degree in health services research

Contributions to Science

1. Research on cerebral microbleeds
Until the late nineties, the field of cerebral small vessel disease was dominated by research into lacunar infarcts and white matter lesions. Clinical and population-based studies had shown that these lesions, also when asymptomatic, were related to higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia. My research over the past decade has put cerebral microbleeds firmly on the map as a new, third imaging marker, of cerebral small vessel disease. I have shown that they are highly prevalent in the general population,35,36 that their location is indicative of underlying vascular pathology,36 and that in the general population, their presence relates to risk of stroke37 and dementia (submitted work). My work has fueled other studies in the field on microbleeds, and microbleeds are nowadays a hot topic in neuroimaging research, especially in the field of aging, cerebrovascular disease and dementia. My work has contributed to microbleeds being viewed as a potential ‘missing link’ between vascular disease and neurodegeneration and has fueled the debate on whether anticoagulation should be given to patients with multiple microbleeds,38 and to use microbleeds as an inclusion criterion for clinical trials. My work has been recognized with the European Prize for Neuroradiology (Lucien Appel Prize 2014) and my PhD student has been awarded for her microbleed presentations in the past two European Stroke Conferences with the young Investigator Award.

• Prevalence and risk factors of cerebral microbleeds: the Rotterdam Scan Study.Vernooij MW, van der Lugt A, Ikram MA, Wielopolski PA, Niessen WJ, Hofman A, Krestin GP, Breteler MM. Neurology. 2008 Apr 1;70(14):1208-14. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000307750.41970.d9.
• Prevalence and risk factors of cerebral microbleeds: an update of the Rotterdam scan study. Poels MM, Vernooij MW, Ikram MA, Hofman A, Krestin GP, van der Lugt A, Breteler MM. Stroke. 2010 Oct;41(10 Suppl):S103-6. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.595181.
• Cerebral Microbleeds Are Associated With an Increased Risk of Stroke: The Rotterdam Study. Akoudad S, Portegies ML, Koudstaal PJ, Hofman A, van der Lugt A, Ikram MA, Vernooij MW. Circulation. 2015 Aug 11;132(6):509-16. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.016261. Epub 2015 Jul 2.
• Use of coumarin anticoagulants and cerebral microbleeds in the general population.Akoudad S, Darweesh SK, Leening MJ, Koudstaal PJ, Hofman A, van der Lugt A, Stricker BH, Ikram MA, Vernooij MW. Stroke. 2014 Nov;45(11):3436-9. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.007112. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

2. White matter microstructural integrity in aging
Research on white matter in age-related diseases had a strong focus on white matter lesions and atrophy until the mid-2000s. In my work as a PhD student, and later as PI of population neuroimaging of The Rotterdam Study, I have shifted this to studying the microstructural properties of white matter, using diffusion tensor imaging. I have shown that white matter microstructure has added value over macrostructure in cognitive deterioration16 and that there is a tract-specific regional deterioration of white matter in aging.39,40 This research is instrumental in changing our way of thinking of white matter as a ‘bulk substance’ into differentiated tracts with specialized functions in aging, and to understand that we need to study tract-specific changes in cognitive deterioriation and dementia. The work of my PhD student on tract-specific diffusion in aging (supervised by me) has been awarded the Stroke Innovation Award by the Journal Stroke in 2013.

• White matter microstructural integrity and cognitive function in a general elderly population.Vernooij MW, Ikram MA, Vrooman HA, Wielopolski PA, Krestin GP, Hofman A, Niessen WJ, Van der Lugt A, Breteler MM. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 May;66(5):545-53. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.5.
• Tract-specific white matter degeneration in aging: the Rotterdam Study. de Groot M, Ikram MA, Akoudad S, Krestin GP, Hofman A, van der Lugt A, Niessen WJ, Vernooij MW. Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Mar;11(3):321-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2014.06.011. Epub 2014 Sep 10.
• White matter atrophy and lesion formation explain the loss of structural integrity of white matter in aging. Vernooij MW, de Groot M, van der Lugt A, Ikram MA, Krestin GP, Hofman A, Niessen WJ, Breteler MM. Neuroimage. 2008 Nov 15;43(3):470-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.07.052. Epub 2008 Aug 8.

Research Support

• H2020: EuroPOND (European Progression of Neurodegenerative Disease initiative) - (€5 million total; €800,000 for own research group) – role: WP leader. (2016-present)
• JPND BRIDGET: (BRain Imaging, cognition, Dementia and next generation GEnomics: a Transdisciplinary approach to search for risk and protective factors of neurodegenerative disease) – (€375,000 for Erasmus MC) - role: key investigator. (2016-present)
• Memorabel: CAVIA project - (€189,000 for own research group, grand total €970,000) – WP leader. (2014-present)
• Innovative Medical Devices Initiative: Imaging dementia: brain matters (€ 500,0000) – co-applicant. (2014-present)
• Alzheimer Nederland international fellowship grant (€ 11,460) – principal investigator. (2013-2014) For 7-month international research visit to the lab of professor Steven Greenberg, Boston, MA, USA (2014)
• BBMRI- Complementation Project (€ 75,000) – principal investigator. (2013-present)
• ZonMw – ethics & health program (€ 90,000) – co-applicant. (2013-present)
• Medical Research Council, New Investigator Research Grant (£150,000) – co-investigator . (2013-present)
Temporal lobe connections and parallel networks for memory: possible mechanisms of resilience and recovery after stroke
• Alzheimer Nederland research grant (€ 270,000) – principal investigator. (2013-present)
Functional brain connectivity: a new imaging marker of preclinical dementia?
• ISAO research grant (€ 100,000) – co-investigator. (2013-present)
DTI-connectivity and incident Alzheimer's disease
• VPH-DARE-IT (€ 13,495,000 for consortium; €954,000 for Erasmus MC) – co-investigator. (2013-present)
Dementia Research Enabled by IT (FP7 framework)
• STW perspective (€ 5,000,000 for consortium; €745,000 for Erasmus MC) – co-investigator. (2013-present)
ImaGene: Imaging Genetics
• ZonMw clinical fellowship (€ 160,000) – principal investigator. (2012-present)
Functional brain connectivity: a new imaging marker of preclinical dementia?
• MRACE grant (€ 150,000) – co-investigator. (2012-present)
The role of white matter connectivity in dementia: an epidemiologic approach
• Erasmus MC Fellowship Grant (€ 400,000) – principal investigator. (2011-present)
Clinical relevance of cerebral microbleeds
• Alzheimer’s Association New Investigator Research Grant ($80,000) - principal investigator. (Oct 2009-2011)

Disclaimer  |  Copyrights  |  Mission  |  Privacy  |  E-mail