Prof Christel Middeldorp has a conjoint appointment with the Child Health Research Centre (CHRC), UQ, and Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS), Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CHQ HHS). She is also affiliated to the department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her research interests involve the role of genetic and other familial influences on the development and persistence of psychopathology across the lifespan. She is the co-PI of the Behavior&Cognition working group of the EAGLE consortium (EArly Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology). EAGLE aims to identify genetic variants underlying the development and persistence of childhood psychopathology by using data from population based longitudinal child and adolescent cohorts from over the world. She further investigates associations between parental and offspring psychopathology and the development of these associations over time in a clinical cohort consisting of families with children treated at outpatient psychiatric services, who are followed longitudinally.

Qualifications

MD (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), PhD (Amsterdam, The Netherlands),  Child and adolescent psychiatrist (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Research Support

Ongoing

2017-2021 CAPICE: Childhood and Adolescence Psychopathology: unravelling the complex etiology by a large Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Europe. EU Marie Curie European Training Network €3,100,000.

2011-2017 Genetic influences on stability and change in psychopathology from childhood to young adulthood. The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw-TOP 91210020).

Completed

2007-2012 The interplay of genetic and environmental factors in the development of anxious depression in children and adults. The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) – Innovational Research Incentives scheme –VENI grant (91676125), €208.000,-. Role: PI.

2009-2011 Psychopathology in parents of children with a psychiatric disorder. The Netherlands. Foundation for Mental Health (Fonds Psychische Gezondheid 20096398), € 50,000. Role: PI.

Awards

2012 EPA Research Prize in the category: “Clinical psychopathology and refinement of psychiatric diagnostic categories”. The prize is awarded by the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) for the best article of 2011 written by an early career psychiatrist.

2012 Fuller & Scott Early Career award, Behavior Genetics Association

Supervision of PhD students

Completed:

  • Risk factors for childhood problem behavior. Studies in twins and triplets.
  • Keeping focus. A study on attention problems in the gwas era.
  • Developmental genetics of psychopathology.

Current:

  • Psychopathology in families.
  • (Epi)genetic factors in anxiety and traumatic stress related symptoms.

Researcher biography

Prof Christel Middeldorp has a conjoint appointment with the Child Health Research Centre (CHRC), UQ, and Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS), Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Services (CHQ HHS). She is also affiliated with the Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The large burden of disease by mental disorders is partly due to the sometimes chronic course. Her aim is to improve prognosis by providing targeted treatment for children and families at high risk for persistent symptoms. To that end, her research focuses on 1) improving recognition of children that are at higher risk for a chronic course and, following up on these findings 2) developing targeted treatment to prevent this unfavourable course.

Christel is the PI of CAPICE: Childhood and Adolescence Psychopathology, unravelling the complex etiology by a large Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Europe, funded by an EU Marie Curie grant, coordinated by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This project aims to identify genetic variants underlying the development and persistence of common childhood psychopathology by using data from population based longitudinal child and adolescent cohorts from over the world. Many of these cohorts participate in the Early Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology (EAGLE) Consortium.

This research is complemented by studies in clinical populations. She established a clinical cohort of families with children with neurodevelopmental disorders. They are followed longitudinally to identify factors, including biomarkers influencing outcome. It is also investigated whether providing integrated care to parents and children improves outcomes. She also analyses the data as collected in electronic health records in the Child and Youth Mental Health Services to gain knowledge on treatment outcomes in the services and characteristics of the child, family and their circumstances thata are associated with these outcomes.

In 2019, Christel was appointed by the federal government as Co-Chair of the Childhood Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy Working Party. The working group is developing a strategy which will provide a framework that embeds protective skills in early childhood, creates mentally healthy home environments, supports parents, and prevents or treats early childhood trauma.