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University Medical Center Groningen

dr. N. (Nynke) Smidt

Associate Professor in Epidemiology
Profile picture of dr. N. (Nynke) Smidt


Nynke Smidt studied physiotherapy (cum laude) and Human Movement Sciences, specializing in Epidemiology. She is associated professor in Epidemiology, and leader of the unit Health Behaviour Epidemiology of the department of epidemiology and the research program Life Course Epidemiology of the research Institute SHARE. She is board member of the department of Epidemiology, SHARE research institute and the Dutch Society of Epidemiology. She is affiliated researcher at Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) in The Hague. She is principal investigator of the FINGER-NL study (location site UMCG) investigating the effectiveness of a multidomain lifestyle intervention on the cognitive performance of older adults, and she is currently setting up Ageinglines, a new subcohort within Lifelines aiming to investigate pathways of biological ageing among 4500 participants (data collection starts in January 2024). She is part of various regional and national consortia: Leernetwerk Leefomgeving Groningen (LEGrO), MOCIA (Maintaining Optimal Cognitive function In Ageing), FINGER-NL (, Netherlands Dementia Prevention Initiative (NDPI) and BIRD-NL (Beinvloedbare Risicofactoren voor Preventie van Dementie – Nederlands Consortium voor kennisontwikkeling). Her main research focus on lifestyle determinants of healthy (cognitive) ageing trajectories. These lifestyle factors include physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep, alcohol consumption, social and cognitive activities. Data of population-based cohort studies are used to investigate the (biological) pathways of cognitive decline over the life course. The main aim is to provide knowledge how to add more healthy life years to the general population, especially to those with a lower education and overweight. She is co-author of over 115 peer reviewed international publications (H-index -Web of Science: 32 dd. May 2023) For publication: Smidt N[Author] - Search Results - PubMed (

Other positions

Unitleader 'Health Behavior Epidemiology'
Affiliated researcher of netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Instuitute (NIDI)
President of the Netherlands Society of Epidemiology
Program leader of the SHARE research program Life Course Epidemiology
PI of Ageinglines
PI of Finger-NL (local site: UMCG)
Last modified:01 March 2024 12.45 p.m.

Contact information

Antonius Deusinglaan 1
9713 AV Groningen
The Netherlands

department of Epidemiology

Job title:
Epidemiologist, Associate Professor