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)