Henk Karst obtained his PhD degree in Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam) in 1990. Between 1990 and 1997 he was postdoctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam (SILS). Since 1997 he was appointed as researcher at the University of Amsterdam and from 2009 at the Rudolf Magnus Institute (Neuroscience and pharmacology) in Utrecht.
He studies the effect of stress hormones in the brain with state of the art electrophysiology. He found that corticosterone, besides a slow and long-lasting modulation via the classical genomic pathway, also modulates the brain via a rapid pathway, most likely via corticosteroid receptors in the membrane. These actions are region specific and may explain why emotional memory is processed in a different way than declarative memory.
He is also interested in the interaction between several stress hormones in time and hopes to get more insight in the background of stress related disorders with these studies.