Research Overview
The Meijer lab focusses on 24-hour rhythms in bodily functions. In humans, rhythms of about 24-hours are generated in an evolutionary old part of the brain, called the suprachiasmatic nuclei. Individual cells of this structure are capable of rhythm generaton. For proper functioning, the cells need to be mutaually synchronized, and are responsive to external light to entrain to the external light-dark cycle. Disturbances in the clock can give rise to sleep disturbances, obesity and depression.

Research lines of the Meijer group

  • Neuronal network organization of the circadian clock; basic research
  • Decline of clock function in aging, depression, migraine and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Circadian rhythms and the metabolic syndrome
  • Retinal signaling to the SCN clock
  • Chronobiological optimization of drug application in humans
  • ADHD and the circadian system


  1. Gu C, Coomans CP, Hu K, Scheer FAJL, Stanley HE, Meijer JH (2015). Lack of exercise leads to significant and reversible loss of scale invariance in both aged and young mice. PNAS, 112(8), 2320-2324. IF 9.81.
  2. Farajnia S, van Westering TLE, Meijer JH, Michel S., Seasonal induction of GABAergic excitation in the central mammalian clock, PNAS, 111, no 26, 9627-9632. Doi: 10.1073/pnas IF 9.737
  3. Kervezee, L, Hartman, R, van den Berg, D, Shimizu, S, Emoto-Yamamoto, Y, Meijer, J, de Lange, E, Diurnal variation in P-glycoprotein mediated transport and cerebrospinal fluid turnover in the brain, The AAPS journal, DOI: 10.1208/s12248-014-9625-4. IF 4.4
  4. Meijer, JH and Robbers, Y, Wheel running in the wild, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2014, 281(1786). doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0210. IF 5.7
  5. van Diepen,H.C., Ramkisoensing,A., Peirson,S.N., Foster,R.G., and Meijer, J.H., Irradiance encoding in the suprachiasmatic nuclei by rod and cone photoreceptors FASEB J. 27, 4204–4212 (2013) IF 5.6
  6. Hu, K., Meijer, J.H., Shea, S.A., vanderLeest, H.T., Houben, T., van Oosterhout, F., and Scheer, F.A.J.L., Fractal patterns of neuronal activity exist within the suprachiasmatic nucleus and require extrinsic network interactions, PLoS One 7(2012) e48927. IF 4.092.
  7. Farajnia, S., Michel, S., Deboer, T., Houben, T., vanderLeest, H.T., Rohling, J.H.T., Ramkisoensing, A., Yasenkov, R., and Meijer, J.H., Evidence for neuronal desynchrony in the aged SCN clock, J. Neurosci, 32 (2012) 5891-5899. IF 7.115.
  8. vanderLeest HT, Rohling JHT, Michel S, Meijer JH. Phase shifting capacity of the circadian pacemaker determined by the SCN neuronal network organization. PLoS ONE 4(3) (2009) e4976.
  9. VanderLeest, H.T., Houben, T., Michel, S., Deboer,T., Albus, H., Vansteensel, M.J., Block, G.D. and Meijer, J.H., Seasonal encoding by the circadian pacemaker of the SCN, Current Biol. 17 (2007) 468-473. IF 10.539
  10. Albus, H., Vansteensel, M.J., Michel, S., Block, G.D. and Meijer, J.H., A GABAergic mechanism is necessary for coupling dissociable ventral and dorsal regional oscillators within the circadian clock., Current Biol., 15 (2005) 886-893. IF 11.732
  11. Schaap, J., Albus, H., van der Leest, H.T., Eilers, P.H.C., Détari, L., Meijer, J.H., Heterogeneity of rhythmic suprachiasmatic nucleus neurons: implications for circadian waveform and photoperiodic encoding, PNAS, 26 (2003) 15994-15999. IF 10.272
  12. Deboer, T., Vansteensel, M.J., Détari, L., Meijer, J.H., Sleep states alter activity of suprachiasmatic nucleus neurons, Nature Neuroscience, 10 (2003) 1086-1090. IF 15.141