After finishing her master’s degree in neuroscience (cum laude), Susanne Kuckuck is currently working as a PhD candidate in the group of Prof. Liesbeth van Rossum at the Department of Internal Medicine at the Obesity Center CGG, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. There, she is greatly enjoying studying the effects of glucocorticoid excess on cardiometabolic health. Her special interest lies in investigating hormonal correlates of appetite and metabolism and their role in the development of obesity under conditions of stress.

Research question

“How do potential vulnerability and resilience factors influence the relationship between stress and cardiometabolic health?”


My project focuses on the relation of biological stress measures with cardiometabolic health, and potential determinants of this association. Recently, we published a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the association of long-term glucocorticoid levels in scalp hair with the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. We saw that hair glucocorticoids were closely linked to cardiovascular disease and age might be a potential moderator of this relationship, as the association was strongest among younger individuals. Currently , I am investigating the association of other long-term measures of the daily life stress response in relation to hormonal and behavioural correlates of appetite and eating behaviour, as well as metabolic deterioration. In these associations, I will determine the extent of moderation by sex and age, along with other factors (e.g., socioeconomic position).

Susanne Kuckuck

PhD student,
Erasmus MC

Portrait photo of Susanne Kuckuck