prof. dr. J.D.A. (Jocelien) Olivier

Associate Professor

prof. dr. J.D.A. (Jocelien) Olivier


Research units:

Research interests


Our translational animal research is focused on the neurodevelopmental outcomes due to early life alterations. Interactions between genes and the environment play an important role in the development of psychopathology. It is our main goal to address the developmental role of serotonin in developing psychopathology later in life using an advanced animal model for depression (serotonin transporter knockout rat). To address the fundamental issues that underlie alterations due to early life events, we attempt to identify molecular mechanisms underlying these alterations.


Effects of antenatal depression and antidepressant treatment during pregnancy

Depressive symptoms frequently occur during pregnancy and may have a tremendous impact on the developing child. Unfortunately, pharmacological antidepressant treatments during pregnancy can also negatively impact the behavioural development and health of the offspring. In humans it is difficult to discern between the effects of the drug and the effects of the depression itself, therefore it is unclear whether children exposed to antidepressants in utero are at increased risk, and if so, what the underlying molecular mechanisms are that may point to potential solutions. We investigate the molecular mechanisms and behavioral alterations in the offspring that are altered due to antenatal depression, antidepressant treatment during pregnancy, and their combination.



We conduct extensive behavioural experimentation (Emotional, social, sleep and cognition), Physiology (telemetry), pharmacological manipulations (SSRIs), immunohistochemical assessments and molecular analysis (microarray, qPCR, genotyping, DNA methylation, DNA hydroxymethylation, histone methylation).

  1. How the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the necessity of animal research

    Genzel, L., Adan, R., Berns, A., van den Beucken, J., Blokland, A., Boddeke, E. H. W. G. M., Bogers, W. M., Bontrop, R., Bulthuis, R., Bousema, T., Clevers, H., Coenen, T. C. J. J., Dam, A-M. V., Deen, P. M. T., van Dijk, K. W., Eggen, B. J. L., Elgersma, Y., Erdogan, I., Englitz, B., Fentener van Vlissingen, J. M., la Fleur, S., Fouchier, R., Fitzsimons, C. P., Frieling, W., Haagmans, B., Heesters, B. A., Henckens, M., Herfst, S., Hol, E., van den Hove, D., de Jonge, M. I., Jonkers, J., Joosten, L. A. B., Kalsbeek, A., Kamermans, M., Kampinga, H. H., Kas, M. J., Keijer, J., Kersten, S., Kiliaan, A. J., Kooij, T. W. A., Kooijman, S., Koopman, W. J. H., Korosi, A., Krugers, H. J., Kuiken, T., Kushner, S. A., Langermans, J. A. M., Lesscher, H., Lucassen, P. J., Lutgens, E., Netea, M. G., Noldus, L. P. J. J., van der Meer, J. W. M., Meye, F. J., Mul, J. D., van Oers, K., Olivier, J. D. A., Pasterkamp, R. J., Philippens, I. H. C. H. M., Prickaerts, J., Pullox, B. J. A., Rensen, P. C. N., van Rheenen, J., van Rij, R. P., Ritsma, L., Rockx, B. H. G., Roozendaal, B., van Schothorst, E. M., Stittelaar, K., Stockhofe, N., Swaab, D. F., de Swart, R. L., Vanderschuren, L. J. M. J., de Vries, T., de Vrij, F., van Wezel, R., Wierenga, C. J., Wiesmann, M., Willuhn, I., de Zeeuw, C. I. & Homberg, J. R., 21-Sep-2020, In : Current Biology. 30, 18, p. R1014-R1018 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  2. Female rat sexual behavior is unaffected by perinatal fluoxetine exposure

    Hegstad, J., Huijgens, P. T., Houwing, D. J., Olivier, J. D. A., Heijkoop, R. & Snoeren, E. M. S., Oct-2020, In : Psychoneuroendocrinology. 120, 104796.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  3. Perinatal fluoxetine treatment and dams' early life stress history have opposite effects on aggressive behavior while having little impact on sexual behavior of male rat offspring

    Houwing, D. J., Esquivel-Franco, D. C., Ramsteijn, A. S., Schuttel, K., Struik, E. L., Arling, C., de Boer, S. F. & Olivier, J. D. A., 17-Jul-2020, In : Psychopharmacology. 237, 9, p. 2589-2600 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  4. Perinatal fluoxetine exposure disrupts the circadian response to a phase-shifting challenge in female rats

    Houwing, D. J., de Waard, J., Ramsteijn, A. S., Woelders, T., de Boer, S. F., Wams, E. J. & Olivier, J. D. A., 12-Jun-2020, In : Psychopharmacology. 237, 8, p. 2555-2568 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  5. Perinatal fluoxetine treatment and dams' early life stress history alter affective behavior in rat offspring depending on serotonin transporter genotype and sex

    Houwing, D. J., Schuttel, K., Struik, E. L., Arling, C., Ramsteijn, A. S., Heinla, I. & Olivier, J. D. A., 17-Aug-2020, In : Behavioural Brain Research. 392, 10 p., 112657.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Press / Media
  1. 1 op de 5 zwangere vrouwen krijgt depressie-klachten, mogen zij antidepressiva?

    Jocelien Olivier


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesPopular

  2. De Universiteit van Noorderzon

    Jocelien Olivier, Ward Rauws, Warner Hoornenborg, Lilian Peters, Stella Weiland, Wanda Douwenga, Andrea Cabrera Arreola & Anton Scheurink


    4 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesPopular

  3. Honderden gebreide neuronen vormen kunstwerk

    Jocelien Olivier, Maaike de Heij & Romy Smit


    1 item of Media coverage, 1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesPopular

View all (8) »

  1. Universiteit van Noorderzon

    Jocelien Olivier (Organiser) & Ward Rauws (Organiser)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising an eventPopular

  2. Community Art – Neural Knitworks

    Jocelien Olivier (Advisor) & Wanda Douwenga (Advisor)


    Activity: ConsultancyOutreachPopular

  3. Zenuw-achtig wol

    Jocelien Olivier (Advisor) & Wanda Douwenga (Advisor)


    Activity: ConsultancyOutreachPopular

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  1. Young Academy Groningen (YAG)

    Olivier, Jocelien (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Election to learned societyAcademic

  2. NARSAD Young Investigator Grant

    Olivier, Jocelien (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitivelyAcademic

  3. Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship

    Olivier, Jocelien (Recipient), 1-May-2015

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitivelyAcademic

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ID: 13014973