Sanne Franzen is a neuropsychologist and researcher, working at the departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and at the Alzheimer Center of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. She specializes in cross-cultural neuropsychological assessment and has additional interests in accessible community (psycho)education programs and brief supportive interventions.
Ms. Franzen received her education at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She majored in Neuropsychology and followed additional courses in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience. She continued her education at Utrecht University with a Master’s degree in Neuropsychology. Her Master’s thesis at the department of Psychiatry of the University Medical Center (Utrecht) focused on the relationship between gray matter volume and metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. She completed her education with a clinical internship at the department of Neurology, subdepartment of Neuropsychology, of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam – the largest university medical hospital in the Netherlands. After graduation, she was appointed as a neuropsychologist (2015) and combined this position with contributions to research projects, such as the FTD-RisC project on genetic frontotemporal dementia and being a rater in Alzheimer´s disease clinical trials.
The opening of the new multicultural memory clinic at the Erasmus MC in late 2015 accelerated her career in research. In 2017, together with her colleague Janne Papma, PhD, she obtained a large governmental grant. This grant allowed the research team to continue and expand their efforts in the multicultural memory clinic through the TULIPA study. She received additional funding to implement a community education program for immigrants about healthy aging (2016 and 2019). In late 2017 ms. Franzen started writing her doctoral dissertation, which she formally completed in 2022.
As part of her continued education, ms. Franzen was trained as a Solution-Focused Therapist in Amsterdam. She has followed short courses in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), as well as training in cross-cultural professional skills. Ms. Franzen served as a commission member of the Cultural Diversity & Psychology Commission of the Dutch Association of Psychologists (NIP, 2019-2021) and Executive Committee member of the Diversity and Disparities PIA of the International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART 2020-2022). She is also a member of the Dutch Federation of Neuropsychologists (NVN) and the International Neuropsychological Society (INS).
Ms. Franzen is fluent in Dutch and English, speaks French and (some) German. Aside from languages, she has an interest in travelling (e.g. to Morocco, China, Senegal, India and Kyrgyzstan). Between her BSc and MSc degrees, she spent three months as a volunteer in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal.
Ms. Franzen has served as a consultant to Biogen (2022) on the topic of cross-cultural neuropsychological assessment (fee paid to her organization). She has also received honoraria for speaking at international conferences and providing lectures.