Prof. dr. M. Olff

Main activities
Focus of research

Our research is on trauma and trauma related disorders, like PTSD. We focus on psychobiological mechansims underlying diagnosis and treatment of posttraumatic stress. Research includes randomized controlled trials on different types of interventions (psychological, pharmacological, combinations, drug add-on interventions, etc) in traumatized/PTSD patients, both preventive and curative. The psychobiological research - as much as possible linked to intervention studies - will include neuroimaging, neuroendocrine, psychneuroimmunological and neuropsychological aspects. Our oxytocin research creates opportunities for new evaluations of context related factors in lab settings and clinical practice. We will systematically examine different psychological as well as biological mechanisms underlying of response to trauma, to the development of symptoms and to treatment, as well as more on more fundamental stress response mechanisms.

Another line is the internet/mobile app/serious gaming research line with (inter)national university and technology partners. We have developed mobile apps such as SAM, Smart Assessment on your Mobile (of reslilence, risk and protective factors, and trauma related symptoms), and the SUPPORT Coach, to prevent or treat trauma related symptoms. We also specialize in Peer support, and have developed an online Peer Support training module. With a large EU consortium we are currently working on VR applications.


In my position of past president of the Intenational Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) and as Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT), our research will be well connected to expert international networks. The Global collaboration project with ISTSS partners all over the wold on mHealth applications is one such example of international state-of-the-art research.



Key publications
  • van Zuiden M, Frijling JL, Nawijn L, Koch SBJ, Goslings JC, Luitse JS, Biesheuvel TH, Honig A, Veltman DJ, Olff M, Intranasal Oxytocin to Prevent Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Emergency Department Patients. BIOL PSYCHIAT 2017;81 (12):1030-1040 [PubMed]
  • Koch SB, van Zuiden M, Nawijn L, Frijling JL, Veltman DJ, Olff M, Intranasal Oxytocin Administration Dampens Amygdala Reactivity towards Emotional Faces in Male and Female PTSD Patients. NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOL 2016;41 (6):1495-1504 [PubMed]
  • Olff M, Frijling JL, Kubzansky LD, Bradley B, Ellenbogen MA, Cardoso C, Bartz JA, Yee JR, van Zuiden M, The role of oxytocin in social bonding, stress regulation and mental health: an update on the moderating effects of context and interindividual differences. PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINO 2013;38 (9):1883-1894 [PubMed]
  • Nijdam MJ, Gersons BPR, Reitsma JB, de Jongh A, Olff M, Brief eclectic psychotherapy v. eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: randomised controlled trial. BRIT J PSYCHIAT 2012;200 (3):224-231 [PubMed]
  • Quidé Y, Witteveen AB, El-Hage W, Veltman DJ, Olff M, Differences between effects of psychological versus pharmacological treatments on functional and morphological brain alterations in anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder: A systematic review. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV R 2012;36 (1):626-644 [PubMed]
All Publications
Research programmes

Center for Psychological Trauma


Prof. dr. M. Olff (Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group (40%))

Dr. A. Bakker PhD
Dr. M. van Zuiden

PhD Students
Drs. M.M. van Herpen
Drs. C.A.I. van der Meer
Y. Qing
M.E. van Steijn MD (OLVG)
G.J. de Vries MA MSc
B.O. Winter
P. Zhutovsky
Drs. C. van der Venne
Drs. T. van de Water (Radboud UMC)
S. Wiegersma (Universtieit Twente)

S. van Buschbach MSc
K. Van Dijk BSc (NHB-psy)
M.J. van Gelderen MSc
K.W.F. Scheepstra
M.E. van Steijn MD (OLVG)

Other research related activities
  • Editor-in-chief European Journal of Psychotaumatology, EJPT
  • Board of directors / Trustees / Supervisory board, President of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
  • Board of directors / Trustees / Supervisory board, European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
  • Membership of advisory board / Consultant, Nederlandstalige Verenigning voor Psychotrauma
  • Membership of advisory board / Consultant, Other
  • Membership of advisory board / Consultant, The 7th hospital of Hangzhou
Current research funding
  • AMC
  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
  • Nederlands Herseninstituut
  • Stichting AMC Foundation (Vrijgesteld)
  • Stichting Arq
  • Stichting tot Steun VCVGZ
  • TNO
  • ZonMw (Vrijgesteld)