Steven Bakker

Steven Bakker

Dr. Steven Bakker

  • psychoses
  • genetic risks


Steven Bakker obtained his PhD in 2005 with René Kahn and Peter Pearson, with a thesis on the genetic basis of ADHD and schizophrenia. Subsequently, he performed 6 months of postdoctoral research with Robin Murray at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. After completion of his clinical training in 2007, he started as a psychiatrist at the psychotic and affective disorders unit in the UMCU. His main interest is finding genetic variations that influence normal behavior and susceptibility to psychiatric disease. In collaboration with René Kahn and Roel Ophoff, UCLA, he investigates genetic factors that determine neurotransmission in the brain, in a cohort of >500 volunteers that donated cerebrospinal fluid and DNA/ RNA. Within the framework of the GROUP psychosis cohort, the emphasis is on genetic variants that contribute to schizophrenia and disease-associated features such as reduced brain volume. Motivating students for choosing a career in psychiatric research is a major drive for Steven’s coordinating involvement in the education of Biomedical and SUMMA students.

Research line and group

Research line
Genetic basis of psychiatric disorders
Number of PhD students

Personal fellowships and awards

  • 2002 Travel Scholarship, World Congress for Psychiatric Genetics
  • 2004 Young Scientist Award, Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia, Davos, Switzerland
  • 2005 Research Scholarship “Programma Internationalisering Onderzoek”, UMC Utrecht
  • 2006 Research grant, Dutch Brain Foundation (€25,000)
  • 2007 VENI subsidy (€208,000), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Most recent key publications

  • Luykx JJ, Bakker SC, Lentjes E, Neeleman M, Strengman E, Mentink L, Deyoung J, de Jong S, Sul JH, Eskin E, van Eijk K, van Setten J, Buizer-Voskamp JE, Cantor RM, Lu A, van Amerongen M, van Dongen EP, Keijzers P, Kappen T, Borgdorff P, Bruins P, Derks EM, Kahn RS, Ophoff RA. Genome-wide association study of monoamine metabolite levels in human cerebrospinal fluid. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 15. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.183. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Terwisscha van Scheltinga AF, Bakker SC, van Haren NE, Derks EM, Buizer-Voskamp JE, Boos HB, Cahn W, Hulshoff Pol HE, Ripke S, Ophoff RA, Kahn RS; Psychiatric Genome-wide Association Study Consortium. Genetic schizophrenia risk variants jointly modulate total brain and white matter volume. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Mar 15;73(6):525-31
  • Ogdie MN, Bakker SC, Fisher SE, Francks C, Yang MH, Cantor RM, Loo SK, van der Meulen E, Pearson P, Buitelaar J, Monaco A, Nelson SF, Sinke RJ, Smalley SL. Pooled genome-wide linkage data on 424 ADHD ASPs suggests genetic heterogeneity and a common risk locus at 5p13. Mol Psychiatry. 2006 Jan;11(1):5-8
  • Bakker SC, Hoogendoorn ML, Selten JP, Verduijn W, Pearson PL, Sinke RJ, Kahn RS. Neuregulin 1: genetic support for schizophrenia subtypes. Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Dec;9(12):1061-3
  • Bakker SC, van der Meulen EM, Buitelaar JK, Sandkuijl LA, Pauls DL, Monsuur AJ, van 't Slot R, Minderaa RB, Gunning WB, Pearson PL, Sinke RJ. A whole-genome scan in 164 Dutch sib pairs with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: suggestive evidence for linkage on chromosomes 7p and 15q. Am J Hum Genet. 2003 May;72(5):1251-60. Epub 2003 Apr 4