PhD candidate Laura Pape has recently started her BioClock project at the Leiden University (LU). She works on the design of an e-health intervention focusing on strengthening the biological clock and improving health. It ultimately aims to improve mental health of university students which is often poor. She is supervised by dr. Niki Antypa, professor Philip Spinhoven (LU), professor Annemieke van Straaten (VU) and dr. Sascha Struijs (VU). Below she introduces herself further.
Tell us a little about yourself, who are you, where are you from and what are your hobbies?
My name is Laura Pape, 26 years old, and I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. I live in the Netherlands since 3 years, now based in Utrecht. In my spare time I like being outdoors, trying out new recipes, and being creative (anything from watercolour painting to pottery). Last year I got my motor boat license, which I like to use back in Berlin (where I come from a place called Neu Venedig ‘New Venice’). I love joining group lessons such as yoga, spinning or strength classes. Also, I enjoy an occasional concert or festival.
What is your background?
I’m a health scientist. Health promotion and disease prevention have been the red line that connect most of my previous education and work experiences. Coming from a more practical background, I received my bachelor’s degree in Sports and Economics at a University of Applied Sciences for in Berlin. In the year 2018, I decided to expand my horizon by moving to Amsterdam and follow the premaster’s and master’s programme of Health Sciences with specialization in prevention and public health at the VU Amsterdam. During my research project, I investigated the effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention aimed at improving physical activity and diet among people with severe mental illness. After finalizing my master’s degree, I spent one more year at the VU working as a junior researcher at the department of Health Sciences, systematically reviewing the effects of lifestyle interventions on patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life. Now, I am excited to join the BioClock project as a PhD candidate.
Where will you work on your project and what is your project about? Tell us in a few lines.
I will be working at the Institute of Clinical Psychology, at Leiden University under supervision of Dr. Niki Antypa and Prof. Philip Spinhoven, as well as Prof. Annemieke van Straten and Dr. Sascha Struijs from VU Amsterdam. We will develop an e-health sleep & biological clock intervention for university students and implement the programme across several Dutch Universities through the Caring Universities platform. The aim of this intervention is to improve sleep patterns and to prevent the development or exacerbation of mental health problems among university students.
When did you first hear about the biological clock/the field of chronobiology?
After experiencing my first jetlag on a vacation to Miami, I wanted to know more about this phenomenon and how it came that the jetlag was even worse on the flight back home. This is when I first came to know more about the biological clock.
What is something fun and/or interesting that people should know about you? When I was younger, I did Shotokan Karate for 12 years of my life on a competitive level back in Berlin. After I received my 3. Kyu, which is one level before the black belt, I stopped doing this sport. I don’t consider myself as a quitter, but this was officially my most glorious quitting moment! Do I regret it? No – but ‘almost-black-belt’ does certainly not sound as good as having the black belt.
To get in touch with Laura, you can send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The BioClock Consortium is funded by the NWA-ORC programme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO; project number 1292.19.077).