Research Overview
The Meijer lab focusses on 24-hour rhythms in bodily functions. Rhythms of 24-hours are generated in an evolutionary old part of the brain, called the suprachiasmatic nuclei. Individual cells of this structure produce rhythms of about 24-hours. The clock cells are mutually synchronized and are responsive to external light to adapt to the external light-dark cycle. Disturbances in the clock can give rise to sleep disturbances, obesity and depression. Artificial illumination, shift work, and life style are a challenge for our 24-hour system in modern society.

Topics of the Meijer group

  1.  Neuronal network organization of the circadian clock
  2. Light effects on the SCN clock; the visual circadian system
  3. Clinical: aging, sleep, metabolic syndrome, depression, fraxile X, ADHD
  4. Sleep and exercise: bidirectional interaction with the SCN clock
  5. Complexity theory; emergent properties of hierarchical neuronal networks
  6. Chronopharmacology: optimizing time of drug application
  7. Field research, animal welfare, population dynamics

Current special positions/functions of JH Meijer

  • Visiting Professor Oxford University
  • Member of the Royal Dutch Society for Sciences
  • Scientific member of the Organisations for Social Partners in Hospitals in the Netherlands; StAZ (non academic hospitals) and SoFoKleS (Academic Medical Centers). Design shift work for nursing staff. (Zie app Nachtarbeid)
  • Member of the Life Sciences Board, Lorentz Center, Leiden
  • NWO board ‘Complexity’
  • Academic Ambassador of the City of Leiden

Recent prices

  • 2016: Aschoff and Honma Prize in Biological Rhythm Research (International Selection Committee, chaired by Dr. Takao Kondo)

Recent highlights of last years

  1. Meijer, JH. The mammalian circadian pacemaker: an adaptive timekeeper for an ever changing environment. (Ed. K-I Honma.). Sapporro Univ press. Price winning chapter.
  2. Cederroth CR, Albrecht U, Bass J, Brown SA, Dyhrfjeld-Johnsen J, Gachon F, Green CB, Hastings MH, Helfrich-Förster C, Hogenesch J, Lévi F, Loudon A, Lundkvist GB, Meijer JH, Rosbash M, Takahashi JS, Young M, and Canlon B (2018). Medicine in the fourth dimension. Cell, accepted.
  3. Fifel K, Meijer JH, Deboer T (2018). Long-term effects of sleep deprivation on neuronal activity in four hypothalamic areas. Neurobiol Dis. 109(Pt A):54-63. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2017.10.005.
  4. Mendoza J, van Diepen HC, Pereira RR, MeijerJH (2018). Time-shifting effects of methylphenidate on daily rhythms in the diurnal rodent Arvicanthis ansorgei. Psychopharmacology (Berl). doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-4928-2.
  5. Olde Engberink AHO, MeijerJH, Michel S (2018). Chloride cotransporter KCC2 is essential for GABAergic inhibition in the SCN. Neuropharmacology. pii: S0028-3908(18)30253-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.05.023.
  6. Panagiotou M, Papagiannopoulos K, Rohling JHT, Meijer JH, Deboer T (2018). How old is your brain? Slow-wave activity in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep as a marker of brain rejuvenation after long-term exercise in mice, Front. Aging Neurosci. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2018.00233.