Sophie (SMT) Wehrens PhD


2004 – 2006 MSc Experimental & Clinical Neuroscience (Utrecht University)
2000 – 2004 BSc Biology (cum laude) (Utrecht University)





Effects of shift work and sleep deprivation on metabolic and cardiovascular function, mood and alertness, 2010,  (Chronobiology section, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)

Research interests

  • Intra- and interindividual factors that may influence  donor eligibility, response to donation and donor health, particularly in connection with biological rhythms and sleep,  for example daily and seasonal variation in blood parameters.
  • Scientific coordination of research based on data and samples from the donor population
  • Other projects that enable harmonization and connection of data and sample collections and improve their quality
  • Research integrity and ethics


  • Research with human tissue (including blood)
  • Experimental studies
  • Biobanking
  • Research governance and ethics


2022 - present Scientific Coordinator and Researcher, Donor studies, Sanquin Research
2020 – 2022 Scientific Coordinator Netherlands Brain Bank, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam
2014 – 2020 Research Integrity and Governance Officer (University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
2011 – 2014 Postdoctoral researcher ‘Food Entrainment of the Human Circadian Timing System’ (Chronobiology section, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
2007 – 2009 Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher EU FP6 Biomedical and sociological effects of sleep restriction (Chronobiology section, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)


Selected publications

Mekkes NJ, Groot M, Hoekstra E, de Boer A, Dagkesamanskaia E, Bouwman S,  Wehrens SMT, Herbert MK, Wever DD, Rozemuller A, Eggen BJL, Huitinga I, Holtman IR. Identification of clinical disease trajectories in neurodegenerative disorders with natural language processing. Nat Med. 2024 Mar 12. doi: 10.1038/s41591-024-02843-9. Epub ahead of print. abstract.

Mekkes NJ, Groot M, Wehrens SMT, Hoekstra E, Herbert MK, Brummer M, Wever DD, Netherlands Neurogenetics Database Consortium, Eggen BJL, Rozemuller A, Huitinga I, Inge R. Holtman HR. Natural language processing and modeling of clinical disease trajectories across brain disorders. MedRxiv, preprint. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.09.22.22280158

Henkens MTHM, van Ast JF, Te Riele ASJM, Houweling AC, Amin AS, Nijveldt R, Antoni ML, Li X, Wehrens SMT, von der Thüsen JH, Damman K, Ter Horst EN, Manintveld OC, Abma-Schouten RY, Niessen HWM, Silljé HHW, Jukema JW, Doevendans PA. The Netherlands Heart Tissue Bank : Strengthening the cardiovascular research infrastructure with an open access Cardiac Tissue Repository. Neth Heart J. 2023 Jan;31(1):16-20. doi: 10.1007/s12471-022-01713-8. Epub 2022 Jul 27. abstract.

Hayter EA, Wehrens SMT, Van Dongen HPA, Stangherlin A, Gaddameedhi S, Crooks E, Barron NJ, Venetucci LA, O'Neill JS, Brown TM, Skene DJ, Trafford AW, Bechtold DA. Distinct circadian mechanisms govern cardiac rhythms and susceptibility to arrhythmia. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 30;12(1):2472. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22788-8. Erratum in: Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 8;12(1):7284. abstract

Christou S, Wehrens SMT, Isherwood C, Möller-Levet CS, Wu H, Revell VL, Bucca G, Skene DJ, Laing EE, Archer SN, Johnston JD. Circadian regulation in human white adipose tissue revealed by transcriptome and metabolic network analysis. Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 25;9(1):2641. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39668-3. abstract

Wehrens SMT, Christou S, Isherwood C, Middleton B, Gibbs MA, Archer SN, Skene DJ, Johnston JD. Meal Timing Regulates the Human Circadian System. Curr Biol. 2017 Jun 19;27(12):1768-1775.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.059. Epub 2017 Jun 1. abstract

Kantermann T, Wehrens SMT, Ulhôa MA, Moreno C, Skene DJ. Noisy and individual, but doable: shift-work research in humans. Prog Brain Res. 2012;199:399-411. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-59427-3.00022-8. abstract

Wehrens SM, Hampton SM, Kerkhofs M, Skene DJ. Mood, alertness, and performance in response to sleep deprivation and recovery sleep in experienced shiftworkers versus non-shiftworkers. Chronobiol Int. 2012 Jun;29(5):537-48. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2012.675258. abstract

Wehrens SM, Hampton SM, Skene DJ. Heart rate variability and endothelial function after sleep deprivation and recovery sleep among male shift and non- shift workers. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2012 Mar;38(2):171-81. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3197. Epub 2011 Sep 27. abstract

Wehrens SM, Hampton SM, Finn RE, Skene DJ. Effect of total sleep deprivation on postprandial metabolic and insulin responses in shift workers and non-shift workers. J Endocrinol. 2010 Aug;206(2):205-15. doi: 10.1677/JOE-10-0077. Epub 2010 May 17. abstract




Other activities

  • Sanquin delegate for COREON
  • Basiscursus Regelgeving en Organisatie voor Klinisch Onderzoekers (BROK®)
  • Several Health-RI initiatives