Profile photo Sarah Durston

Sarah Durston

Full Professor

Strategic program(s):


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

Strategic program(s):


Recent publications

Processing of social and monetary rewards in autism spectrum disorders Sarah Baumeister, Carolin Moessnang, Nico Bast, Sarah Hohmann, Pascal Aggensteiner, Anna Kaiser, Julian Tillmann, David Goyard, Tony Charman, Sara Ambrosino, Simon Baron-Cohen, Christian Beckmann, Sven Bölte, Thomas Bourgeron, Annika Rausch, Daisy Crawley, Flavio Dell'Acqua, Guillaume Dumas, Sarah Durston, Christine Ecker, Dorothea L. Floris, Vincent Frouin, Hannah Hayward, Rosemary Holt, Mark H. Johnson, Emily J.H. Jones, Meng Chuan Lai, Michael V. Lombardo, Luke Mason, Bethany Oakley, Marianne Oldehinkel, Antonio M. Persico, Antonia San José Cáceres, Thomas Wolfers, Eva Loth, Declan G.M. Murphy, Jan K. Buitelaar, Heike Tost, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Tobias Banaschewski, Daniel Brandeis,
The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 2023, vol. 222, p.100-111
Linking functional and structural brain organisation with behaviour in autism Lennart M. Oblong, Alberto Llera, Ting Mei, Koen Haak, Christina Isakoglou, Dorothea L. Floris, Sarah Durston, Carolin Moessnang, Tobias Banaschewski, Simon Baron-Cohen, Eva Loth, Flavio Dell'Acqua, Tony Charman, Declan G.M. Murphy, Christine Ecker, Jan K. Buitelaar, Christian F. Beckmann, Natalie J. Forde,
Molecular Autism, 2023, vol. 14, p.1-13
A human leukocyte antigen imputation study uncovers possible genetic interplay between gut inflammatory processes and autism spectrum disorders Laura Lombardi, Sigrid Le Clerc, Ching-Lien Wu, Jihène Bouassida, Wahid Boukouaci, Sobika Sugusabesan, Jean-Romain Richard, Mohamed Lajnef, Maxime Tison, Philippe Le Corvoisier, Caroline Barau, Tobias Banaschewski, Rosemary Holt, Sarah Durston, Antonio M Persico, Bethany Oakley, Eva Loth, Jan Buitelaar, Declan Murphy, Marion Leboyer, Jean-François Zagury, Ryad Tamouza
Translational Psychiatry, 2023, vol. 13, p.1-13
Cross-sectional and longitudinal neuroanatomical profiles of distinct clinical (adaptive) outcomes in autism Charlotte M Pretzsch, Dorothea L Floris, Tim Schäfer, Anke Bletsch, Caroline Gurr, Michael V Lombardo, Chris H Chatham, Julian Tillmann, Tony Charman, Martina Arenella, Emily Jones, Sara Ambrosino, Thomas Bourgeron, Guillaume Dumas, Freddy Cliquet, Claire S Leblond, Eva Loth, Bethany Oakley, Jan K Buitelaar, Simon Baron-Cohen, Christian F Beckmann, Antonio M Persico, Tobias Banaschewski, Sarah Durston, Christine M Freitag, Declan G M Murphy, Christine Ecker,
Molecular Psychiatry, 2023, vol. 28, p.2158-2169
Clonidine augmentation in patients with schizophrenia Caitlyn Kruiper, Iris E.C. Sommer, Michiel Koster, P. Roberto Bakker, Sarah Durston, Bob Oranje
Schizophrenia Research, 2023, vol. 255, p.148-154
Differences in Intrinsic Gray Matter Connectivity and Their Genomic Underpinnings in Autism Spectrum Disorder Johanna Leyhausen, Tim Schäfer, Caroline Gurr, Lisa M. Berg, Hanna Seelemeyer, Charlotte M. Pretzsch, Eva Loth, Bethany Oakley, Jan K. Buitelaar, Christian F. Beckmann, Dorothea L. Floris, Tony Charman, Thomas Bourgeron, Tobias Banaschewski, Emily J.H. Jones, Julian Tillmann, Chris Chatham, Jumana Ahmad, Sara Ambrosino, Bonnie Auyeung, Simon Baron-Cohen, Sarah Baumeister, Sven Bölte, Carsten Bours, Michael Brammer, Daniel Brandeis, Claudia Brogna, Yvette de Bruijn, Bhismadev Chakrabarti, Ineke Cornelissen, Daisy Crawley, Flavio Dell'Acqua, Guillaume Dumas, Sarah Durston, Christine Ecker, Jessica Faulkner, Vincent Frouin, Pilar Garcés, David Goyard, Lindsay Ham, Hannah Hayward, Joerg Hipp, Rosemary Holt, Mark H. Johnson, Prantik Kundu, Meng Chuan Lai, Xavier Liogier D'ardhuy, Michael V. Lombardo, René Mandl, Bob Oranje,
Biological Psychiatry, 2023, vol. 95, p.175-186

Fellowships & Awards

2006: Op weg naar de biologie van ADHD

External positions

Chair, Stichting Bewustzijn en Wetenschap