Dr. Milou Sep is a neuroscientist in the lab of Prof. Christiaan Vinkers (Amsterdam UMC/VUmc) and a psychologist at GGZ inGeest. She is also a visiting postdoc in the lab of Prof. Nikolaos Daskalakis (McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School). Milou’s key interest is the between-individual variation in resilience to stress/trauma and its consequences for psychiatric disorders. She combined clinical and preclinical work in her self-designed PhD project (UMC Utrecht/Dutch Ministry of Defence), for which she acquired a prestigious personal NWO grant (2014). Milou is trained in Biomedical Sciences (BSc 2010), Clinical Psychology (BSc 2012; MSc 2015), and Neuroscience (MSc 2015) at Utrecht University.

Research question

“Is early-life childhood trauma impacting on individual stress system dynamics in persons with major depressive disorder?”


This project measures emotional, behavioral and physiological stress responses in daily life over time in persons with major depressive disorder. The impact of childhood trauma exposure (present in about 50% of all depressed patients) on differential stress system dynamics will be evaluates. It will also be examined if we can better understand individual variation in stress-related symptomatology via multimodal interactions of different stress system components.

Milou Sep

Amsterdam UMC

Portrait photo of Milou Sep