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Anne-Laura van Harmelen nominated for Huibregtsen Prize

Professor of Brain, Safety and Resilience Anne-Laura van Harmelen has been nominated for the Huibregtsen Prize. The winner of the prize will be announced on the Evening of Science & Society (4 October).

Van Harmelen researches childhood trauma. Around half of all mental health problems in adolescence (varying from depression, panic attacks, behavioural problems and aggression to suicide) can be traced back to childhood trauma. Anna-Laura van Harmelen studies why some young people are more resilient after childhood trauma than others and how we can increase resilience in vulnerable young people. She has developed an innovative interdisciplinary approach to investigate the underlying mechanisms of resilience. Her particular focus is on emotional child abuse, the most common type of child abuse and the type that has been studied least so far. 

‘She not only is an active science communicator for a wide public [...], but also wants to reach young people themselves.’

Jury report

In its report the jury is full of praise for Van Harmelen’s work. ‘She has shown huge commitment to translating her innovative fundamental research into something that benefits society. She not only is an active science communicator for a wide public [...], but also wants to reach young people themselves. To this end she and others have developed an interactive course for, and also by, young people about their mental health. This course has been followed more than 50,000 times. These impressive figures have convinced the jury that Van Harmelen excels in societal benefit.’ 

Response from Van Harmelen

‘It’s an enormous honour to be nominated for this award,’ Van Harmelen said in a first response. ‘And it is great recognition of the work that I’ve been able to do with my collaborative partners to increase the resilience of young people with childhood trauma.’

About the Huibregtsen Prize

The Huibregtsen Prize was established in 2005 by the board of the Evening of Science & Society Foundation and named after Wouter Huibregtsen. The prize is for a research project that combines scientific quality and innovation with special societal benefit or outreach. The prize consists of a sculpture by Wil van der Laan, € 25,000 for research activities and a workshop offered by the Lorentz Center in Leiden.

Anne-Laura van Harmelen on young people and the coronavirus crisis

Will the coronavirus lockdown have a lasting effect on young people? We discuss this with Anne-Laura van Harmelen in our Science Shot podcast.

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