Do Tromp, PhD

Do was born and raised in the Netherlands, where she received her college education at Utrecht University in the fields of Science & Innovation Management, Psychology, and Neuroscience. She then continued her education in the United States and earned her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Her interests are focused on the intersection between technology and health, and how individual factors conspire to influence health and mental health outcomes. About a decade ago she saw the potential of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), a state of the art technology that maps white matter microstructure, to investigate how white matter alterations may influence our mental health. Her work demonstrated that the microstructure in a specific fiber pathway important for emotion regulation is altered in individuals with high anxiety. She furthermore determined that this effect is evolutionarily conserved, and that alterations to this pathway are mostly caused by environmental factors. The work she was involved in has been cited over 2300 times.

While acquiring the skills to analyze this data she noticed the lack of guidelines and support for novice neuroimaging scientists in this field. In order to lower the barrier for entry and make this knowledge publicly available, she decided to document all the skills she picked up from working in close collaboration with MRI physicist and DTI experts for nearly a decade and share them online at diffusion-imaging.com. By offering step-by-step tutorials and providing an online community of peers this website now provides support for academics worldwide who may otherwise not have had access to this knowledge. To date, diffusion-imaging.com has accumulated over half a million views.

In 2019 she started a coworking space in Davis, CA (Davis Coworking), after she realized that she was no longer making progress towards the goals that she had set for herself. She decided that a coworking space might provide the structure and social interaction that might help her get back on track. In the process of searching for a suitable coworking space, she realized that she wanted to start one herself and make it a space that she had imagined. Two months later Davis Coworking opened its doors. She wrote a Medium post on this transition, as well as a post on why she opted to run a green business. Davis Coworking survived the pandemic and is now serving 63 businesses on a quarterly basis.

In 2020, as the pandemic shut everything down, she started the development of www.start-a.business, a curated resource with step-by-step actions that aim to help anyone get their business idea off the ground. As unemployment skyrocketed, the goal of this resource was not to create another technological startup, but instead help individuals who just lost their job create a successful mom-and-pop store or window washing business. The goal is to provide all the resources to successfully navigate the intricacies of creating a business plan, picking a legal structure, organizing finances, create a marketing & sales plan, running operations, etc. While at the same time minimizing the costs for each of these actions. She wrote a Medium post on why she built this resource: Small but Mighty: The Power and Potential of Starting a Small Business. The iOS application continues to grow and has 1186 active users.