During my one-year training in neurogenetics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) I developed a particular interest in psychiatric genetics. The graduate courses, statistical analyses and interviewing of patients have enabled me to build up expertise in psychiatric genetics topics. Upon my return from California I was given the opportunity to combine a PhD program in psychiatric genetics (completed in March 2013) with my residency in psychiatry at UMCU (finished in June 2012). During my PhD project I demonstrated how targeting CSF deepens the understanding of behavioral and genetic mechanisms in those not suffering from severe mental illness.
After finishing my PhD, I moved to the department of Translational Neuroscience at UMCU where I have been heading the Psychiatric Genetics Program of the Human Neurogenetics Unit since 2014 where our group focuses on DNA/RNA sequencing, genetic pleiotropy and pharmacogenomics. We have several ongoing international collaborations and collect DNA and body fluids from patients suffering from several psychiatric disorders. I also coordinate clinical trials at the country or site level. I am involved in teaching of both residents in psychiatry and biomedical students. I also guide Neuroscience and Cognition master students in their yearly writing assignments. My clinical position is an outpatient unit at GGNet where I also direct the psychiatry residency program.
At our research unit, I supervise four PhD students who focus on genetic pleiotropy with psychiatric disorders and genetics of schizophrenia patients who use clozapine. Our postdoc performs several common and rare variant analyses on existing and newly collected databases. Our lab technicians perform the wet lab genetic analyses necessary to generate some of our data. We often also supervise master students in their thesis projects. We also actively participate in national and international collaborations, e.g. PGC workgroups and several international clinical trials in psychosis studies.
Jurjen Luykx was born in the Netherlands and has lived in Guatemala, Florida, Nicaragua, Mexico, Naples, Madrid, Los Angeles and Antwerp. He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Utrecht.
In my free time, I enjoy taking photos of events, people or places that fascinate or appeal to me.