Mitzy Kennis, PhD

Researcher and Policy Advisor

ARQ / Impact


As an enthusiastic PhD in neuroimaging, I am intrigued by individual differences in experiencing and processing traumatic experiences. In particular, studying direct effects of treatment on the brain to disentangle treatment mechanisms fascinates me, and I am willing to contribute to translate neurobiological findings in to practical/therapeutical tools. Furthermore, I am interested in investigating the overlap and distinction between mood and anxiety disorders to provide information which may lead to better treatment in the future. My goal is to promote resilience/posttraumatic growth after traumatic events.

After obtaining a bachelor degree in Biology and a Master degree in Neuroscience at Utrecht University, I started as a research assistant, and continued as PhD candidate at the Military Mental Healthcare and University Medical Center, Utrecht. I investigated neurobiological effects of PTSD treatment with connectivity analyses, such as resting state fMRI and DTI analyses. As a part of my training I visited Ned Kalin’s lab, at University of Wisconsin, Madison. After my PhD I became a lecturer of clinical psychology, in various bachelor and master courses and I superviserd over 60 students with theyr theses and internships. As postdoc at Utrecht University I worked on several meta-analyses investigating biological predictors for depression and anxiety.

In February 2020 I have started as researcher and policy advisor at Impact, at the trauma-expertise center ARQ. Here I will further investigate mental health after traumatic events and evaluate the current policies of companies that expose their employees to trauma.


  • Posttraumatic-stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Resilience/posttraumatic growth
  • Neuroimaging; (f)MRI/DTI
  • Meta-analysis


  • PhD in Neuroscience, 2016

    Utrecht University

  • MSc Neuroscience & Cognition, 2010

    Utrecht University

  • BSc in Biology, 2007

    Utrecht University