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

Assistant Professor


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. Perinatal fluoxetine exposure changes social and stress-coping behavior in adult rats housed in a seminatural environment

    Houwing, D. J., Heijkoop, R., Olivier, J. D. A. & Snoeren, E. M. S., 5-Apr-2019, In : Neuropharmacology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  2. Constitutive serotonin transporter reduction resembles maternal separation with regard to stress-related gene expression

    Comasco, E., Schijven, D., de Maeyer, H., Vrettou, M., Nylander, I., Sundström-Poromaa, I. & Olivier, J. DA., 7-Jan-2019, In : ACS chemical neuroscience.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  3. Antenatal depression and placental function: A protein validated gene expression study

    Edvinsson, A., Olivier, J., Hellgren, C., Kallak, T. K., Akerud, H., Skalkidou, A., Victorin, E. S., Fornes, R., Spigset, O., Lager, S. & Poromaa, I. S., Sep-2018, In : Placenta. 69, p. E62-E62 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractAcademic

  4. Maternal separation induces anhedonia in female heterozygous serotonin transporter knockout rats

    Houwing, D. J., Ramsteijn, A. S., Riemersma, I. W. & Olivier, J. D. A., 1-Jan-2019, In : Behavioural Brain Research. 356, p. 204-207 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Press / Media
  1. Radio interview at BNR Newsradio

    Jocelien Olivier


    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: ResearchPopular

  2. Announcement in Young Investigator Grant Program 2016

    Jocelien Olivier


    1 item of media coverage

    Press/Media: ResearchPopular

  3. Facebook announcement

    Jocelien Olivier


    1 item of media coverage

    Press/Media: ResearchPopular

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  1. Dutch Neuroscience meeting 2018

    Martien Kas (Organiser), Jocelien Olivier (Chair)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising an eventAcademic

  2. Invited Lecture at Symposium: a life full serotonin

    Jocelien Olivier (Keynote speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationProfessional

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  1. NARSAD Young Investigator Grant

    Jocelien Olivier (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitivelyAcademic

  2. Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship

    Jocelien Olivier (Recipient), 1-May-2015

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitivelyAcademic

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