Emma Pruin is a PhD candidate at the Psychiatry Department of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. She has a background in psychology and has been trained in genetics-based methods at VU Amsterdam (Research Master Genes in Behaviour and Health). Focussing on mental health outcomes, she hopes that her research will contribute to contemporary perspectives on the interconnected effects of genes and environment.

Research question

“Which continuous indicator of family history has the strongest predictive power of disorder risk?”


Family history is an important factor of individual vulnerability for psychiatric disorders, but how to summarise information about relatives most accurately is unclear. The aim of the current project is to establish the best way of quantifying family history for prediction of mental health outcomes. Through systematic comparison of various indicators and using databases such as Lifelines and NESDA, the best predictor of developing anxiety or depression will be identified. Results can support recommendations of indicators to use for existing data, as well as which family-related data to collect in the future.

Emma Pruin

PhD student,
Amsterdam UMC

Areas of Expertise