Stephanie von Hinke wins ERC Starting Grant

Stephanie von Hinke, Professor of Health Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant of € 1.5 million, to work on the project 'Developmental Origins: exploring the Nature-Nurture Interplay'.

The project will explore how genes (“nature”) interact with different environments (“nurture”) in shaping individuals' later life health and well-being. Stephanie von Hinke will focus on evaluating the long-term effects of short-term variations in early life conditions, and directly test the hypothesis that gene-environment interactions causally shape outcomes in older age.

Von Hinke’s home institution is the University of Bristol. In March 2018, she was appointed Professor of Health Economics at Erasmus School of Economics. Before this date she already had strong ties with Erasmus School of Economics due to a collaboration in the NORFACE research programme “Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course” (DIAL). This research project focuses on combining methods from genetics and social science to investigate the interplay between genes and the environment in producing inequalities in education and health outcomes.

The research of Von Hinke covers two main areas. First, she is interested in the economics of obesity, diet and nutrition, looking at both potential causes and consequences of the recent rise in body weight, as well as at evaluating ways to improve dietary choices. Second, she examines the use of genetic data in economics research. This interdisciplinary work includes policy-relevant applications, looking at genetic and environmental determinants of health and education, as well as methodological research using Mendelian randomization.

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The European Research Council’s Starting Grants support exceptional researchers, between two and seven years from PhD completion, to become fully independent research leaders and to create or strengthen their own research team or programme. The grants are awarded under the 'excellent science' pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.

For more information, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communications Officer at Erasmus School of Economics, at rdegroot@ese.eur.nl, or +31 6 53 641 846.