Elseline Hoekzema

e.a.hoekzema [at] fsw.leidenuniv [dot] nl


Elseline is a principal investigator in the Brain & Development lab, where she directs a line of research investigating the effects of pregnancy on the brain. Elseline has a long-term interest in brain plasticity, and in her earlier research she investigated neural changes in response to various internal and external factors, such as medication, training, aging and hormones, both in rats and in humans. In her postdoctoral work, she specialized in the study of how endocrine factors impact the human brain. Over the last several years, Elseline's research has focused entirely on mapping the effects of pregnancy on a woman’s brain, a topic that she first started working on during her PhD (obtained with highest honors from the Department of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona) and has continued to study during her postdoctoral career (at the Neuroendocrinology Bakker Group of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience). She moved to the Brain & Development Laboratory at Leiden University to expand her research on this topic, and she is currently leading several research studies that aim to elucidate unknown aspects of the neurobiological transition into motherhood. She and her research team are investigating this in the human brain by means of various neuroimaging approaches combined with physiological, hormonal and behavioral measures. Her current research projects are funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Leids Universitair Fonds and the Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds.