Personal information

Brenda  Penninx

Prof.dr. Brenda Penninx (1970) is professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and program leader APH Menatal Health. From May 1st 2015- December 2017 she was member of the Directive Board of EMGO+. She has been involved in several Dutch and international longitudinal cohort studies for the last 15 years. Central themes in her research are risk factors and consequences of depression and anxiety disorders and the interaction of these disorders with physical health. She has published more than 700 international articles on these subjects.

Brenda Penninx studied Health Sciences at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. She obtained her PhD in Epidemiology at the VU University in 1996. Afterwards she stayed in the USA for several years as Visiting Fellow at the American National Institute on aging in Bethesda, MD, and as Assistant/Associate Professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
In 2004 she returned to the VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands to become the principal investigator of the NESDA study; the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (

Brenda Penninx has been elected in 2016 as member of the KNAW and has received several national and international funds for her research. In her current research group junior researchers (5 assistant professors, 2 postdocs and more than 20 PhD students) with diverse backgrounds study the etiology, treatment and consequences of depressive and anxiety disorders from multidisciplinary perspectives.  

Brenda Penninx works for the department of Psychiatry of the VU University Medical Center. Her research group is largely embedded in the Mental Health program of the Amsterdam Public Health research institute (former EMGO+). The neurobiological component of her research group is also embedded in the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam (Amsterdam Neuroscience).