Universiteit Leiden

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Moji Aghajani

Assistant Professor

Dr. M. Aghajani
+31 71 527 2727

Moji Aghajani is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Education and Child Studies, section Forensic Family & Youth care. His research activities largely converge on the societally and scientifically relevant intersection between cognitive neuroscience and developmental/clinical psychology. 

Short CV

After completing his BSc Psychology and Research MSc Clinical Psychology at Leiden University (both Cum Laude), he conducted his doctoral research (PhD) on developmental psychopathology & cognitive neuroscience at the LUMC (Dept. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry). He subsequently obtained a postdoctoral position at the Amsterdam UMC/VU Medical Center (Dept. Psychiatry), focusing primarily on biological psychiatry and emerging neurobiological techniques (e.g., ultra-high field MRI). He was appointed Assistant Professor at Leiden University in September 2020.


Moji’s research mainly revolves around the study of externalizing/internalizing psychopathologies and their neurobiobehavioral underpinnings, using a variety of techniques (e.g., Neuroimaging, Epigenetics, Experimental Psychology). His work has shown how specific changes in cortico-limbic brain circuits, and the oxytocinergic system, may shape socioemotional dysfunction in severely conduct-disordered youth. His research has also contributed to a better understanding of brain system dysfunctions in clinically traumatized and depressed individuals. He has built up a large international network, presented at high-profile international conferences, and received various awards/fellowships based on his work. He is a strong advocate of open and reproducible science, and as such co-chair/co-founder of two workgroups (Antisocial Behavior & Panic Disorder) within the ENIGMA consortium (~350 sites worldwide), wherein neurobehavioral data from individual sites are shared and used for robust mega-analyses.

His Assistant Professorship will, among other things, entail a bio-psycho-social perspective on how normative neural/cognitive/affective development may go awry in some youth, and cause antisocial or abnormal behavior. These examinations will innovatively focus on probabilistic individual-level inferences that are data-driven, multimodal, and developmentally informed. 


  • Master Thesis Instructor
  • Practice of Empirical Research
  • Introduction to Developmental Psychology
  • Developmental Psychopathology & Diagnostics
  • Recent Advances in Developmental Psychopathology
  • Prevention, Family Mediation, and Treatment in Forensic Context

PhD Supervision

  • Laura Han (Amsterdam UMC/VUmc)
  • Ilja Saris (Amsterdam UMC/VUmc)
  • Jeanne Leerssen (Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience)
  • Charlotte Boateng (LUMC)


  • 2019: Amsterdam Neuroscience (€63,000)
    Neurocognitive profiling of youth psychopathology using Machine Learning
  • 2018: Amsterdam Neuroscience (€50,000)
    Ultra-high field (7Tesla) MRI examination of subcortex in depression
  • 2017: Örebro University (Sweden) External Research Grant (€25,000)
    Neurobiobehavioral correlates of psychopathy in juveniles

Honors and awards

  • 2019: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 
    Travel award to visit Donders Institute Nijmegen (€1500)
    Application of advanced biostatistics to psychopathology
  • 2018: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Young promising scientist fellowship
    - Included in a selective EU-funded initiative
    - Focus on translational psychopathology
    - Additional travel award to visit University of Rome (€1500)
  • 2018: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Travel award for ECNP conference Barcelona (€500)
  • 2016: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Travel award for ECNP conference Vienna (€500)
  • 2016: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Best Poster award ECNP conference Vienna (€500)
  • 2015: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Travel award for ECNP conference Amsterdam (€500)
  • 2014: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Selected for ECNP workshop Nice (€1000)
  • 2012: Van de Geer Award Leiden University
    Best Research MSc Thesis Institute of Psychology (€500)
    Thesis: Human Personality and Brain Network Connectivity


Assistant Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Pedagogische Wetenschappen
  • Forensische gezinsped. en Jeugdhulpverl.

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 4B33



No relevant ancillary activities

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