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 (159)

Qualitative differences in the spatiotemporal brain states supporting configural face processing emerge in adolescence in autism

Haartsen Rianne, Mason Luke, Garces Pilar, Gui Anna, Charman Tony, Tillmann Julian, Johnson Mark H., Buitelaar Jan K., Loth Eva, Murphy Declan, Jones Emily J.H., Ahmad Jumana, Ambrosino Sara, Banashewski Tobias, Baron-Cohen Simon, Bast Nico, Baumeister Sarah, Beckmann Christian, Bölte Sven, Bourgeron Thomas, Bours Carsten, Brandeis Daniel, Cornelissen Ineke, Crawley Daisy, Davidson Cate, Dell’ Acqua Flavio, Durston Sarah, Ecker Christine, Ellis Claire, Faulkner Jessica, Hayward Hannah, Hipp Joerg, Holt Rosemary, Lai Meng Chuan, Leblond Claire, Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas, Moessnang Carolin, Oakley Bethany, O'Dwyer Larry, Persico Antonio, Rausch Annika, Sabet Jessica, San Jose Caceres Antonia, Simonoff Emily, Tost Heike, Rhein Daniel von, Oct 2022, In: Cortex. 155 , p. 13-29 17 p.

Resting state EEG power spectrum and functional connectivity in autism:a cross-sectional analysis

Garcés Pilar, Baumeister Sarah, Mason Luke, Chatham Christopher H, Holiga Stefan, Dukart Juergen, Jones Emily J H, Banaschewski Tobias, Baron-Cohen Simon, Bölte Sven, Buitelaar Jan K, Durston Sarah, Oranje Bob, Persico Antonio M, Beckmann Christian F, Bougeron Thomas, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Ecker Christine, Moessnang Carolin, Charman Tony, Tillmann Julian, Murphy Declan G M, Johnson Mark, Loth Eva, Brandeis Daniel, Hipp Joerg F, 18 May 2022, In: Molecular Autism. 13 , p. 1-16

Neurobiological Correlates of Change in Adaptive Behavior in Autism

Pretzsch Charlotte M, Schäfer Tim, Lombardo Michael V, Warrier Varun, Mann Caroline, Bletsch Anke, Chatham Chris H, Floris Dorothea L, Tillmann Julian, Yousaf Afsheen, Jones Emily, Charman Tony, Ambrosino Sara, Bourgeron Thomas, Dumas Guillaume, Loth Eva, Oakley Bethany, Buitelaar Jan K, Cliquet Freddy, Leblond Claire S, Baron-Cohen Simon, Beckmann Christian F, Banaschewski Tobias, Durston Sarah, Freitag Christine M, Murphy Declan G M, Ecker Christine, 25 Mar 2022, In: American Journal of Psychiatry. 179 , p. 336-349 14 p.

Subtly altered topological asymmetry of brain structural covariance networks in autism spectrum disorder across 43 datasets from the ENIGMA consortium

Sha Zhiqiang, van Rooij Daan, Anagnostou Evdokia, Arango Celso, Auzias Guillaume, Behrmann Marlene, Bernhardt Boris, Bolte Sven, Busatto Geraldo F, Calderoni Sara, Calvo Rosa, Daly Eileen, Deruelle Christine, Duan Meiyu, Duran Fabio Luis Souza, Durston Sarah, Ecker Christine, Ehrlich Stefan, Fair Damien, Fedor Jennifer, Fitzgerald Jacqueline, Floris Dorothea L, Franke Barbara, Freitag Christine M, Gallagher Louise, Glahn David C, Haar Shlomi, Hoekstra Liesbeth, Jahanshad Neda, Jalbrzikowski Maria, Janssen Joost, King Joseph A, Lazaro Luisa, Luna Beatriz, McGrath Jane, Medland Sarah E, Muratori Filippo, Murphy Declan G M, Neufeld Janina, O'Hearn Kirsten, Oranje Bob, Parellada Mara, Pariente Jose C, Postema Merel C, Remnelius Karl Lundin, Retico Alessandra, Rosa Pedro Gomes Penteado, Rubia Katya, Shook Devon, Tammimies Kristiina, 8 Feb 2022, In: Molecular Psychiatry. 27 , p. 2114-2125 12 p.

In-depth characterization of neuroradiological findings in a large sample of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and controls

Ambrosino Sara, Elbendary Hasnaa, Lequin Maarten, Rijkelijkhuizen Dominique, Banaschewski Tobias, Baron-Cohen Simon, Bast Nico, Baumeister Sarah, Buitelaar Jan, Charman Tony, Crawley Daisy, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Hayward Hannah, Holt Rosemary, Moessnang Carolin, Persico Antonio M., Sacco Roberto, San José Cáceres Antonia, Tillmann Julian, Loth Eva, Ecker Christine, Oranje Bob, Murphy Declan, Durston Sarah, Jan 2022, In: NeuroImage: Clinical. 35 , p. 1-11

Reproducibility in the absence of selective reporting:An illustration from large-scale brain asymmetry research

Kong Xiang Zhen, Francks Clyde, Kong Xiang Zhen, Mathias Samuel R., Guadalupe Tulio, Abé Christoph, Agartz Ingrid, Akudjedu Theophilus N., Aleman Andre, Alhusaini Saud, Allen Nicholas B., Ames David, Andreassen Ole A., Vasquez Alejandro Arias, Armstrong Nicola J., Asherson Phil, Bergo Felipe, Bastin Mark E., Batalla Albert, Bauer Jochen, Baune Bernhard T., Baur-Streubel Ramona, Biederman Joseph, Blaine Sara K., Boedhoe Premika, Bøen Erlend, Bose Anushree, Bralten Janita, Brandeis Daniel, Brem Silvia, Brodaty Henry, Yüksel Dilara, Brooks Samantha J., Buitelaar Jan, Bürger Christian, Bülow Robin, Calhoun Vince, Calvo Anna, Canales-Rodríguez Erick Jorge, Cannon Dara M., Caparelli Elisabeth C., Castellanos Francisco X., Cendes Fernando, Chaim-Avancini Tiffany Moukbel, Chantiluke Kaylita, Córdova-Palomera Aldo, Cousijn Janna, de Zeeuw Patrick, Durston Sarah, Oranje Bob, Jan 2022, In: Human Brain Mapping. 43 , p. 244-254 11 p.

Author Correction:Altered structural brain asymmetry in autism spectrum disorder in a study of 54 datasets

Postema Merel C., van Rooij Daan, Anagnostou Evdokia, Arango Celso, Auzias Guillaume, Behrmann Marlene, Filho Geraldo Busatto, Calderoni Sara, Calvo Rosa, Daly Eileen, Deruelle Christine, Di Martino Adriana, Dinstein Ilan, Duran Fabio Luis S., Durston Sarah, Ecker Christine, Ehrlich Stefan, Fair Damien, Fedor Jennifer, Feng Xin, Fitzgerald Jackie, Floris Dorothea L., Freitag Christine M., Gallagher Louise, Glahn David C., Gori Ilaria, Haar Shlomi, Hoekstra Liesbeth, Jahanshad Neda, Jalbrzikowski Maria, Janssen Joost, King Joseph A., Kong Xiang Zhen, Lazaro Luisa, Lerch Jason P., Luna Beatriz, Martinho Mauricio M., McGrath Jane, Medland Sarah E., Muratori Filippo, Murphy Clodagh M., Murphy Declan G.M., O’Hearn Kirsten, Oranje Bob, Parellada Mara, Puig Olga, Retico Alessandra, Rosa Pedro, Rubia Katya, Shook Devon, 8 Dec 2021, In: Nature Communications. 12 1 p.

Preference for biological motion is reduced in ASD:implications for clinical trials and the search for biomarkers

Mason L., Shic F., Falck-Ytter T., Chakrabarti B., Charman T., Loth E., Tillmann J., Banaschewski T., Baron-Cohen S., Bölte S., Buitelaar J., Durston S., Oranje B., Persico A. M., Beckmann C., Bougeron T., Dell’Acqua F., Ecker C., Moessnang C., Murphy D., Johnson M. H., Jones E. J.H., Ahmad Jumana, Ambrosino Sara, Baumeister Sarah, Bours Carsten, Brammer Michael, Brandeis Daniel, Brogna Claudia, de Bruijn Yvette, Chatham Chris, Cornelissen Ineke, Crawley Daisy, Dumas Guillaume, Faulkner Jessica, Frouin Vincent, Garcés Pilar, Goyard David, Ham Lindsay, Hipp Joerg, Holt Rosemary, Lai Meng Chuan, D’ardhuy Xavier Liogier, Lombardo Michael V., Lythgoe David J., Mandl René, Marquand Andre, Mennes Maarten, Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas, Bast Nico, Dec 2021, In: Molecular Autism. 12

Interindividual Differences in Cortical Thickness and Their Genomic Underpinnings in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Ecker Christine, Pretzsch Charlotte M, Bletsch Anke, Mann Caroline, Schaefer Tim, Ambrosino Sara, Tillmann Julian, Yousaf Afsheen, Chiocchetti Andreas, Lombardo Michael V, Warrier Varun, Bast Nico, Moessnang Carolin, Baumeister Sarah, Dell'Acqua Flavio, Floris Dorothea L, Zabihi Mariam, Marquand Andre, Cliquet Freddy, Leblond Claire, Moreau Clara, Puts Nick, Banaschewski Tobias, Jones Emily J H, Mason Luke, Bölte Sven, Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas, Persico Antonio M, Durston Sarah, Baron-Cohen Simon, Spooren Will, Loth Eva, Freitag Christine M, Charman Tony, Dumas Guillaume, Bourgeron Thomas, Beckmann Christian F, Buitelaar Jan K, Murphy Declan G M 10 Sep 2021, In: American Journal of Psychiatry. 179 , p. 242-254 13 p.

Evidence for similar structural brain anomalies in youth and adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder:a machine learning analysis

Zhang-James Yanli, Helminen Emily C, Liu Jinru, Franke Barbara, Hoogman Martine, Faraone Stephen V, , Durston Sarah Jun 2021, In: Translational Psychiatry. 11 , p. 1-9 9 p.

All research output

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