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PhD students

Pia Todtenhaupt

Pia Todtenhaupt is a researcher in training at the Department of Biomedical Data Sciences in the LUMC. Together with Sophie, she is responsible for the coordination of TwinLife. She obtained her Masters degree in Medical Biology at Radboud University in Nijmegen in 2018. Within this Master, she specialized in the field of Epigenetics.


Jip Spekman

Jip Spekman is a researcher in training. During her bachelor's degree in Medicine, she became involved in research into identical twins with selective growth restriction at the Dept. of Neonatology. In January 2022 she started as a PhD candidate at the Twinlife research. She is responsible for the follow-up at the age of two and will take over from Sophie Groene.


Department of Biomedical Data Sciences

Prof. Dr. Bas Heijmans is an Epigeneticist in the LUMC. Together with his team, he investigates how environmental factors can influence our DNA and cause health differences. He is very curious if this is the reason that identical twins are not 100% the same and whether we can use this knowledge to lend vulnerable twins a helping hand.

Prof. Dr. Bas Heijmans


Dr. Erik van Zwet

Erik van Zwet studied mathematics and has been working as a statistician at the LUMC since 2009. He teaches, conducts methodological research and provides statistical advice to all kinds of biomedical researchers; from neonatology to molecular epidemiology.

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Laura Franken

Laura Franken is a research analyst at the department of Molecular Epidemiology. She is responsible for the Twinlife biobank and carries out laboratory work. In 2020 she completed her master Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences at Utrecht University. 

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Dr. Melissa van Pel

Melissa van Pel is head of Cell Therapy at NecstGen. There she is responsible for process development and making cell and gene therapy products for clinical studies. For the Twinlife research she is studying the cells from the umbilical cord.

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Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Jeanine van Klink

Dr. Arno Roest

Prof. Dr. Enrico Lopriore

Enrico Lopriore is a professor of Neonatology and head of the Department of Neonatology in the LUMC. His research focuses on discovering the origin of diseases in the fetal phase and the short and long-term consequences, especially in complicated monochorionic twins. He is part of an (uncomplicated) twin set as well.

Jeanine van Klink is a Pediatric Psychologist and researcher at the Department of Pediatrics in the LUMC. Her research focuses on children's long-term neurodevelopment, especially identical twins who have experienced a difficult start, for example after fetal therapy, prematurity, or with a low birth weight.

Dr. Arno Roest is a Pediatric Cardiologist in the LUMC. His research focuses on non-invasive imaging of the heart and blood vessels, with for example, echocardiography and MRI. He performs MRI examinations in children with complex congenital heart defects, but he is also very interested in how certain factors before and after birth can influence the risk of having a heart attack later in life.


Sylke Steggerda is a neonatologist at the LUMC. She specialises in neonatal neurology and focuses on the imaging of the developing brain and possible brain damage in sick newborns by means of ultrasound and MRI. She also investigates risk factors for abnormalities and their consequences for a child's development. The aim is to better understand what causes neurological damage and to be able to guide children and their parents even better in the future.

Dr. Sylke Steggerda

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Dr. Sophie Groene


Sophie Groene is a researcher in training. After obtaining her Bachelor in Medicine, where she had already developed an early interest in Pediatrics, she started a PhD focused on monochorionic twins at the Department of Neonatology in the LUMC. Currently, she is responsible for the coordination and the clinical aspects of TwinLife, including contact with parents.

Afdeling Kindergeneeskunde


Department of Obstetrics

Dr. Monique Haak

Monique Haak is a Gynecologist-Obstetrician in the LUMC. She is specialized in prenatal diagnostics and fetal therapy, especially for congenital heart defects. Pregnancy and birth are two of the most impressive occurrences in a human life. If there are worries about the health of an unborn child, she believes it is important to optimally support parents in this unsure period.


Femke Slaghekke is a Gynecologist-Obstetrician and fetal surgeon in the LUMC. She is specialised in complicated identical twin pregnancies. Her research focuses on documenting these complicated pregnancies and improving their outcomes.

Dr. Femke Slaghekke

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