Christiaan Vinkers is a psychiatrist and full professor in Stress and Resilience with a strong focus on understanding, maintaining, and improving resilience in the face of stress and trauma. His research is aimed at exploring how stress and trauma can be used as a transdiagnostic tool within and outside psychiatry. An integrative approach on the interplay between stress, trauma, and mental health is central at his work, aiming to contribute to a deeper understanding of these complex relationships but also to open up new avenues for treating psychiatric disorders in relation to resilience.
Vinkers’ work has significantly advanced our understanding of how traumatic stress increases the risk of psychiatric disorders and has been instrumental in identifying individuals who are at risk or resilient to these conditions.
During his PhD, Vinkers focused on preclinical research, delving into the genetic and molecular basis of stress reactivity. Currently, Vinkers is involved in a variety of research methodologies, including epidemiological studies, experimental designs, and clinical trials. These studies aim to unravel and integrate the biological and psychological determinants of stress resilience. A important line of research are clinical studies concerning childhood trauma. This includes the RESET-trials, which focus on treating childhood-trauma-related depression. Vinkers’ research also examines how childhood trauma impacts stress reactivity, both in laboratory settings and in real-life scenarios.
Furthermore, Vinkers has contributed significantly to the scientific understanding of the discontinuation of psychotropic drugs. This includes the Dutch discontinuation outpatient clinic and the TEMPO trial. This work is particularly relevant in the context of antidepressants used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. This can offer new insights into the therapeutic management and potential tapering of these medications.
In addition to his scientific and clinical work, Vinkers is active in translating psychiatry to a broader science. This includes books such as “In de ban van burn-out” (2022, Uitgeverij Prometheus)and “Hoe zit het nu echt met antidepressiva?” (2021, Uitgeverij Prometheus).