Yvonne van der Schouw, UMCU

Dr Yvonne van der Schouw

Role and contribution

Dr van der Schouw leads workpackage 2.4 on candidate biomarkers of intermediate pathways linking genetic and environmental factors with type 2 diabetes risk.

Scientific profile

The research program of Dr van der Schouw was originally directed at unraveling the role of sex hormones in occurrence and progression of cardiovascular disease. It specifically addresses three areas: endogenous sex hormones, genetic variation in sex hormone metabolism and functioning, and exogenous sex hormones in the form of phyto-estrogens. Numerous studies, varying from case-cohort, full cohort to randomized clinical trials have been performed successfully, resulting in 106 PubMed citations thus far, of which several in high impact journals (Lancet, JAMA, Circulation, Am J Hum Genet, BMJ). Thirteen PhD-theses were supervised. In recent years the focus has shifted to nutritional and genetic determinants of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This was facilitated by the scientific background of van der Schouw as Nutritional Epidemiologist, an appointment as visiting scholar at the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health in 2001-2002, and the availability of the Prospect-EPIC data at the Julius Center. Dietary intake of the phytoestrogens types isoflavones and lignans form an important part of the research interest of van der Schouw, and resulted already in two PhD-theses and important papers. Studies on the cardiovascular effects of vitamin K intake, dietary glycemic load, and betaine and choline intake have also been performed. Studies on genetic susceptibility of platelet aggregation and iron overload disease in relation to cardiovascular disease have been successfully conducted. Recently a major grant for a project on the role of inflammation in obesity-induced type 2 diabetes was obtained from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.