Rena Gatzounis (I.)

Dr. Irene (Rena) Gatzounis is an experimental health psychologist and postdoctoral researcher at Maastricht University. 

Rena started her studies in psychology (specialization: social and clinical psychology) at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece),
from which she graduated in 2007. In 2008, Rena enrolled in the Research Master in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (specialization: psychopathology) at Maastricht University. After graduating cum laude in 2010, Rena joined the research group Health Psychology of the KU Leuven (Belgium) for her doctoral research on the consequences of activity interruptions by pain and the effects of pain on prospective memory. Rena’s PhD project was supervised by Prof. Dr. Johan Vlaeyen, Prof. Dr. Geert Crombez, and Dr.
Martien Schrooten, and was for its biggest part funded by an Aspirant PhD Fellowship granted by the Research Foundation – Flanders (Fonds Wetenschapellijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen). 

In March 2018, Rena joined the research group Experimental Health Psychology of Maastricht University, and specifically the team of Dr. Ann Meulders, where she investigates the (modulators of the) return of pain-related fear and avoidance behaviour after extinction with response prevention. 

Other research interests include the effects of pain on cognition, especially as regards memory for  future intentions (prospective memory) and the resumption of interrupted tasks. 

Rena has one daughter, Danae. In her free time, Rena enjoys cooking for friends and family, reading existential novels, knitting, and throwing tea parties for Danae’s stuffed animals.