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prof. dr. W.J. Kop


TS Social and Behavioral Sciences
Medical and Clinical Psychology


Willem J. (Wijo) Kop, Ph.D. is Professor of Medical and Clinical Psychology at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. Until 2010 he was the Director of the Behavioral Cardiology Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He holds adjunct appointments in the Departments of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and in the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda MD.

Dr. Kop received his Ph.D. from the Maastricht University, the Netherlands (1994) and has since developed a productive research career in behavioral cardiology. He has conducted various studies in Behavioral Medicine and Neuropsychology and has an M.Sc. in Epidemiology.


Currently, Dr. Kop investigates cardiovascular diseases and other disorders where fatigue and depression play a major role. His research focuses on the effects of fatigue, depression and mental stress on the immune system and blood clotting factors. These studies involve psychological evaluation for depressive disorders and hostility using Structured Clinical Interviews as well as controlled procedures to induce mental stress. The general scope his research program is to identify the biological mechanisms by which psychological factors affect disease outcomes, and to what extent these relationships are mediated by health behaviors, such as exercise.  Dr. Kop has been Principal Investigator on several studies funded by the National Institutes of Health


Dr. Kop is actively involved in the fields of Psychosomatic and Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Dr. Kop has also served on several editorial boards of journals in his field of research, including Health Psychology and Brain, Behavior and Immunity and was a member of various NIH review panels. Dr. Kop is the recipient of the 1998 Early Career Award of the American Psychosomatic Society and the 2002 Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association.

Principal publications

  •  Kop WJ, Synowski SJ, Gottlieb SS. Depression in heart failure: biobehavioral mechanisms. Heart Failure Clinics. 2011 Jan;7(1):23-38
  •  Kop WJ, Synowski SJ, Newell ME, Schmidt LA, Waldstein SR, Fox NA. Autonomic nervous system reactivity to positive and negative mood induction: The role of acute psychological responses and frontal electrocortical activity. Biological Psychology 2011 Mar;86(3): 230-238.    
  • Kop WJ, Seliger SL, Fink JC, Katz R, Odden MC, Fried LF, Rifkin DE, Sarnak MJ, Gottdiener JS. Longitudinal association of depressive symptoms with rapid kidney function decline and adverse clinical renal disease outcomes. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2011 2011 Apr;6(4): 834-844
  •  de Morree HM, Szabó BM, Rutten GJ, Kop WJ. Central nervous system involvement in the autonomic responses to psychological distress. Netherlands Heart Journal. 2012 Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print]  
  • Kop WJ. Somatic depressive symptoms, vital exhaustion, and fatigue: divergent validity of overlapping constructs. Psychosomatic Medicine 2012 Jun; 74(5): 442-445.    
Last amended: 22 August 2016