Affiliation: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Department of Clinical Psychology
Keywords: Neuroimaging, Experimental Psychology, Neuropsychopharmacology, Brain Development, Addiction, Cannabis, Alcohol, Adolescence, Translational science
Janna Cousijn is an Associate Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Department of Clinical Psychology. She is intrigued by the fine line between addiction risk and resilience and wants to understand the processes underlying trajectories of drug use across the lifespan. She has an interdisciplinary background in neurobiology, psychiatry and experimental psychology and received her doctorate from the University of Amsterdam cum laude for identifying predictors of cannabis addiction with a novel combination of neuroimaging techniques (structural MRI, functional MRI, connectivity analyses) and neuropsychological tasks applied to a group of difficult to find cannabis users. Through postdocs at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, Leiden University and Utrecht University, she extended her knowledge on mental health, experimental psychology, brain development, neuroimaging and neuropsychopharmacology. In 2015, she was invited back at the University of Amsterdam where she founded the Neuroscience of Addiction lab. She is recognized as a leading cognitive neuroscientist investigating cannabis addiction. Her work marks a milestone in showing the similarities between cannabis addiction and other addictions. This was recognized through a 2016 APS-rising star designation and a NIDA-NIH RO1 grant. She advocates a paradigm shift, embracing individual differences and mixed positive and negative effects, and the potential role of cannabis culture therein. In collaboration with her international collaborators, she aims to improve the cannabis knowledge base, stimulate harmonization of research methods and inform users, practitioners and policy makers. Currently, she also works as a Deputy Regional Manager for Addiction journal. In addition, with her ERC starting grant she aims to delineate the impact of age on the neurocognitive processes underlying alcohol and cannabis use, using a rat-human translational paradigm.