prof. dr. M.J.N.L. (Manon) Benders

prof. dr. M.J.N.L. (Manon) Benders

Full Professor
prof. dr. M.J.N.L. (Manon) Benders
  • Birth Center Neonatology - Medical

Research Programs



Manon Benders is professor in Neonatology of the Wilhelmina Children's hospital, UMC Utrecht. Currently she is head of the Department since 2015 (18 stafmembers/fellows and 10 physician assistents).
She obtained her PhD degree in Leiden (1999, Prof. Margot van der Bor). She was qualified as a Pediatrician-Neonatologist since 2006 (prof. Frank van Bel). thereafter she did a fellowship in Neonatal Neurology (prof. Linda de Vries).
She has been a consultant neonatologist in the Wilhelmina Children’s hospital of the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands since 2006. In 2014 she was working as a senior clinical lecturer, King’s college London and honary consultant in Neonatology at Guy’s and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
Before she did a junior research fellowship on cerebral ultrasound (Prof. dr. F. Walther) in UCLA in 1997, USA and a senior neonatal neurology research fellowship on neonatal neuro-imaging at University of Geneva (Prof. dr. P.S. Hüppi) in 2006-2007 as part of her fellowship Neonatal Neurology. 
Manon is currently supervising  several PhD students and  clinical research fellows/postdocs, working on national and international research projects, focusing on prediction and perinatal neuro-imaging evaluating brain development and neuro-protective and -regenerative strategies.


2008 finished fellowship Neonatal Neurology (Prof dr. Linda de Vries)
2006 Pediatrician- Neonatologist (prof. dr. Frank van Bel)
1999 PhD, Leiden University, the Netherlands (prof. dr. Margot van de Bor)
1996 Bachelor of Medicine, Leiden University, the Netherlands


Research line

Her research focuses on neonatal neuro-imaging. These techniques appear to give the opportunity to detect subtle differences, which are helpful in predicting neurodevelopmental outcome and evaluating of neuroprotective/neuroregenerative strategies to reduce brain injury, which is the other part of her research. 

Side Activities

Member of the Core team Brain, research theme UMC Utrecht

Member of the Core Team Child Helath, research theme UMC Utrecht

Member of the Programma Committee Dynamics of Youth, representative UMC Utrecht

Figurelead of the foundation 'Gezond Geboren'

Member of the Dutch/Flemish Society of Neonatal Neurology, former Chair from 2012-2016

Member Society of Pediatric Research                                                                                       

Member European Society of Pediatric Research    

Member of the section Council Brain and Development, from 2014 to now                                           

Member Dutch society of Pediatrics  (NVK): Neonatology; neonatal neurology, neonatal hemodynamics                                  

Member of the European Neonatal Brain Club

Former Member of the committee Dutch Ministry of Health Committee: ‘Pregnancy and delivery: a good start’.

Member of the Core team Brain, research theme UMC Utrecht, vice chair, jan-17
Member of the Core Team Child Helath, research theme UMC Utrecht, member, jun-18
Member of the Programma Committee Dynamics of Youth, representative UMC Utrecht, member,  okt-16 -jan22
Wetenschappelijk boegbeeld - foundation 'Gezond Geboren', sep-17
Member of the Dutch/Flemish Society of Neonatal Neurology, former Chair from 2012-2016
Member of the section Council Brain and Development, from 2014 to 2019
lMember Dutch society of Pediatrics  (NVK): Neonatology; neonatal neurology, neonatal hemodynamics 
consultant Takeda/Shire, 2018
Penningmeester Stiching de ssnoo, 2018
Member of the European Neonatal Brain Club, since 2011
InfanDX consultant, 2021
consultant, Chiesi amstem, since 2019
consultant, ACEpharmacuticals, 2008
consultatnt  Danone Nutricia Research, 2012

Fellowship and Awards

Funding as Principal Investigator

1991      Leids Universitair Fonds: International Foundation for Student Research Projects: ‘Cardiac and Cerebral Doppler-sonography in Neonates’. University of California Los Angeles, Verenigde Staten (€20K)

2005      NSCK reward: Registry ‘Severe Hyperbilirubinemia in Neonates in the Netherlands.’ (NSCK, surveillance) (€10k)

2006      “Ter Meulen Fonds”, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Netherlands, Clinical Research Fellowship. Supervisor: Prof. P.S. Hüppi, University of Geneva, Switzerland (€50k)

2006      International Pediatric Research Foundation (IPRF): exchange program Young Investigator Fellowship of the ESPR, for Clinical Research fellowship Geneve, Prof. P.S. Hüppi, University Geneva, Switzerland (€20k)

2009      The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO): program ‘early evaluation of medical innovation’: ‘Perinatal allopurinol trial for reduction of birth asphyxia induced brain damage’. Co-PI with Obstetrician: Dr. J.B. Derks (PhD: Joepe Kaandorp) (€150k +€50K UMCU)

2009      Alexandre Suerman Stipendium: ‘Reference ranges for the lateral cerebral ventricles of newborn infants’  (PhD: Margaretha Brouwer) (€75k +€50k UMCU)

2009      Catherijne Foundation: MRI of preterm infants: prediction of neurodevelopmental outcome (€200k)

2010      Univeristy Medical Center Utrecht / Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital Foundation: ‘Maturation dependent vulnerability of the Brain and Outcome of Preterm Infants assessed by MRI’ (PhD: Karina Kersbergen) (€150k+€50k UMC)

2011      International Foundation initiated by University Medical Centre Utrecht ‘MRI-biomarkers of Outcome and Perinatal Brain Injury in Neonates with Congenital Heart Disease’ (€50k)

2013      Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Province and Municipality of Utrecht, Utrecht University and the University Medical Center Utrecht: ‘The Nutri-brain project: a randomised, double-blind, controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a nutritional supplement on brain integrity in preterm infants.  (€2.5m)

2016 Nutricia research: fetal and neonatal MRI in youth cohort utrecht. 200.000 euro. Elise Turk

2018    Crucial trial: CeRebrUm and CardIac protection with ALlopurinol in neonates with congenital heart disease requiring neonatal cardiac surgery.zonMW 80-84800-98-42022 (1.6 mljn). National RCT. Prinicipal investigator.


Funding as Co-Investigator

2008-2010     European project Framework VI: ‘NEOBRAIN Neonatal estimation of brain damage risk and identification of neuroprotectants’ LSHM-CT-2006-036534, contract Nr 036534. Member of the MRI workpackage. (€2.3m)

2009                Ministero della Salute – Direzione Generale della Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica. ‘Early identification of newborns at high risk of brain injury through a valida- ted biomarkers profile and specific neuro-imaging patterns. A follow up study of clinical and neurodevelopmental outcome in a large cohort study’. (PI Prof G. Buonocore, University Siena.) Co-applicant, co-supervised 3 PhD students. (€800k)

2011      European study: ‘SafeBoosC: Safeguarding the brain of our smallest children: randomised, blinded, multinational (10 countries), phase II feasibility clinical trial on near-infrared spectroscopy monitoring combined with defined treatment guidelines versus standard monitoring and treatment as usual in premature infantsconsortium’. Neuro-imaging work package leader. (€1.2m)

2012 – 2020  The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). ‘Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) to regenerate the neonatal brain’ (Co-PIs Prof Annemieke Kavelaars and Prof Linda de Vries). Co-applicant and neuro-imaging workpackage leader. (€1.7m)

2012                Grant Health Insurance company: Nuts-Ohra: ‘Neuromonitoring during neonatal surgery, and evaluating brain injury with MRI and long-term outcome’. (PI Petra Lemmers). Co-applicant, supervised PhD student: Lisanne Stolwijk. (€160k+50k)

2013                Irish Medical Research Council: ‘Automatic analysis of brain injury in MRI of asphyxiated infants’Co-applicant supervised post-doctoral Fellow (Dr Keelin Murphy). (€100k)

2013                Univeristy Medical Center Utrecht / Wilhelmina Children’s hospital Foundation: ‘White matter injury of the preterm infants’, animal experimental study.’ (PI Dr Cora Nijboer). Supervised PhD student: Erik van Tilborg (€150k +€50k UMCU)

2014                Univeristy Medical Center Utrecht / Wilhelmina Children’s hospital foundation: Anatomical brain networks and its functional dynamics in neonates : a biomarker for cognitive outcome’. (PI Dr Martijn van de Heuvel). Supervised PhD student: Kristin Keunen (€150k+€50k UMCU)

2016            IGLOInsuline like growth factor levels and outcome in extreme premature infants: Brain foundation. The Next Step HA2016-02-04. (co-applicant) (480.000)

2016   Univeristy Medical Center Utrecht / Wilhelmina Children’s hospital foundation:  The effects of preterm birth of stressresilience during childhood. WKZ foundation.  (co-applicant) €150.000 Femke Lammertink



Research Output (344)

Cranial MRI beyond the Neonatal Period and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Neonatal Encephalopathy Due to Perinatal Asphyxia:A Systematic Review

Parmentier Corline E J, Kropman Tobias, Groenendaal Floris, Lequin Maarten H, de Vries Linda S, Benders Manon J N L, Alderliesten Thomas 6 Dec 2023, In: Journal of Clinical medicine. 12 18 p.

Effect of Systemic Hydrocortisone on Brain Abnormalities and Regional Brain Volumes in Ventilator-dependent Infants Born Preterm:Substudy of the SToP-BPD Study

Halbmeijer Nienke M., Onland Wes, Dudink Jeroen, Cools Filip, Debeer Anne, van Kaam Anton H., Benders Manon J.N.L., van der Aa Niek E. 1 Nov 2023, In: Journal of Pediatrics. 265 , p. 113807

Proceedings of the 14th International Newborn Brain Conference:Other forms of brain monitoring, such as NIRS, fMRI, biochemical, etc

Ali Sanoj et al. 17 Aug 2023, In: Journal of neonatal-perinatal medicine. 16 , p. S63-S73

Development and clinical impact assessment of a machine-learning model for early prediction of late-onset sepsis

van den Berg Merel A M, Medina O'Jay O A G, Loohuis Ingmar I P, van der Flier Michiel M, Dudink Jeroen J, Benders Manon M J N L, Bartels Richard R T, Vijlbrief Daniel D C 15 Jun 2023, In: Computers in Biology and Medicine. 163 , p. 1-10

Introduction of ultra-high-field MR brain imaging in infants:vital parameters, temperature and comfort

van Ooijen I. M., Annink K. V., Benders M. J.N.L., Dudink J., Alderliesten T., Groenendaal F., Tataranno M. L., Lequin M. H., Hoogduin J. M., Visser F., Raaijmakers A. J.E., Klomp D. W.J., Wiegers E. C., Wijnen J. P., van der Aa N. E. Jun 2023, In: Neuroimage: Reports. 3 6 p.

Brain segmentation in patients with perinatal arterial ischemic stroke

Zoetmulder Riaan, Baak Lisanne, Khalili Nadieh, Marquering Henk A, Wagenaar Nienke, Benders Manon, van der Aa Niek E, Išgum Ivana 17 Mar 2023, In: NeuroImage. Clinical. 38

Feasibility of automated early postnatal sleep staging in extremely and very preterm neonates using dual-channel EEG

Wang Xiaowan, Bik Anne, de Groot Eline R., Tataranno Maria Luisa, Benders Manon J.N.L., Dudink Jeroen Feb 2023, In: Clinical Neurophysiology. 146 , p. 55-64 10 p.

Nutritional supplementation for the prevention and treatment of neonatal brain injury:Breast milk and beyond

Brandt Myrna J.V., Nijboer Cora H., van Elburg Ruurd M., Benders Manon J.N.L., de Theije Caroline G.M. 1 Jan 2023, p. 833-853 21 p.

Fetal MRI of the heart and brain in congenital heart disease

Moerdijk Anouk S., Claessens Nathalie HP, van Ooijen Inge M., van Ooij Pim, Alderliesten Thomas, Grotenhuis Heynric B., Bekker M. N., Benders M. J.N.L., Bohte A. E., Breur J. M.P.J., Charisopoulou D., Clur S. A., Cornette J. M.J., Fejzic Z., Franssen M. T.M., Frerich S., Geerdink L. M., Go A. T.J.I., Gommers S., Helbing W. A., Hirsch A., Holtackers R. J., Klein W. M., Krings G. J., Lamb H. J., Nijman M., Pajkrt E., Planken R. N., Schrauben E. M., Steenhuis T. J., ter Heide H., Vanagt W. Y.R., van Beynum I. M., van Gaalen M. D., van Iperen G. G., van Schuppen J., Willems T. P., Witters I., Jan 2023, In: The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. 7 , p. 59-68 10 p.

All research output

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