M.S.C. (Milou) Sep MSc
© Sjoerd Hilckmann/MCD

M.S.C. (Milou) Sep MSc

PhD student
Place of employment
CMH Utrecht


Milou is a multidisciplinary specialist in brain and mental health. She studied biomedical sciences and psychology at Utrecht University. After obtaining the master's programs in Neuroscience & Cognition and Clinical Psychology at Utrecht University, she received a personal grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) to carry out her personally - designed doctoral research with Dr. Elbert Geuze (BRAIC) and Prof. dr. Dr. Marian Joëls (UMC Utrecht).

Since 2015, Milou has been investigating whether stressful memories linked to environmental information can predict vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to clinical research at the Brain Research and Innovation Centre of the Ministry of Defence, she also conducts preclinical research at the Translational Neuroscience department of the UMC Utrecht Brain Center.

Overview of projects within the BRAIC

  • Stress And Memory (SAM)
  • Traits, Anxiety and Generalization (TAG)
  • Trauma and Remembrance in Animal models and Clinical studies Evaluated (TRACE)
  • Trauma In Context (TIC)


  • Sep MSC, Steenmeijer A, Kennis M. The relation between anxious personality traits and fear generalization in healthy subjects: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2019; 107: 320–328.
  • Sep MSC, van Ast VA, Gorter R, et al. Time-dependent effects of psychosocial stress on the contextualization of neutral memories. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2019; 108: 140–149.
  • Kok L, Sep MSC, Veldhuijzen DS, et al. Trait anxiety mediates the effect of stress exposure on post-traumatic stress disorder and depression risk in cardiac surgery patients. J Affect Disord 2016; 206: 216–223.
  • Kok L, Hillegers MH, Veldhuijzen DS, et al. The Effect of Dexamethasone on Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression After Cardiac Surgery and Intensive Care Admission: Longitudinal Follow-Up of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Crit Care Med 2016; 44: 512–20.
  • van Osch M, Sep MSC, van Vliet L, et al. Reducing patients’ anxiety and uncertainty, and improving recall in bad news consultations. Heal Psychol 2014; 33: 1382–1390.
  • Sep MSC, Van Osch M, van Vliet L, et al. The power of clinicians’ affective communication: How reassurance about non-abandonment can reduce patients’ physiological arousal and increase information recall in bad news consultations. An experimental study using analo. Patient Educ Couns 2014; 95: 45–52.