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dr. S.F. de Boer

Universitair hoofddocent
dr. S.F. de Boer


 Sietse Freerk de Boer


 Place and date of Birth:       Boornzwaag (Frl.); July 29, 1959

Nationality:                            Dutch

Marital Status/Children:       Widower/one daughter

Address:                                 Mûzekamp 17, 8526 DV Boornzwaag, The Netherlands

Phone:                                    (31)513-412866

Mobile:                                    (31) 615635973



Affiliation:                              Associate Professor of Behavioral Neurobiology & Psychopharmacology.

Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG, Groningen, P.O. Box 11103, 9700 CC Groningen,The Netherlands. Phone: (31)50 3632355/3632340 Mobile: (31) 615635973. E-mail:



1984 - 1990:                           Ph.D. Research Fellow at the University of Utrecht,

                                               Department of Psychophysiology/Pharmacology,

Thesis: “Dynamics of stress-hormones in the rat: modification by psychological factors and anxiolytic drugs”. (Cum Laude).


1978 - 1984:                           Biology study with majors in Behavioral Physiology, Neurophysiology and Neuroanatomy at the University of Groningen. M.Sc. Nov. 1984 (Cum Laude).


1971 - 1978:                           High School (VWO-B) at ‘Magister Alvinus’, Sneek.


2012 - 2015:                           Head (interim) of the research section Behavioral Physiology, Centre for Behavior and Neuroscience, University of Groningen.

2009 - present:                        Associate Professor in Behavioral Physiology, Research cluster Behavioral Neuroscience, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

1992 - 2009:                           Assistant Professor in Behavioral Physiology, Department of Behavioral Physiology, Biological Center, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

1990 - 1992:                           Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Behavioral Neurophysiology & Pharmacology at the Division of Behavioral Neurobiology, Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, USA. Advisors: Prof. R.J. Valentino and Prof. G. Aston-Jones


Over 30 years of preclinical in-vivo whole animal (rat and mice) behavioral physiological, pharmacological and neurobiological research experience in an academic setting. At the behavioral level, the research expertise comprises a variety of well-validated laboratory behavioral tests including: Resident-intruder paradigm for both offensive and defensive aggressive behavior, social defeat stress, colony/social hierarchy systems, defensive shock-prod burying paradigm, general locomotor and running-wheel activity, feeding/drinking activity, several (un)conditioned fear and anxiety tests, spatial orientation tasks, social learning tasks and maze learning tasks. For the reliable collection, coding, analysis and presentation of the observational behavioral performances, the Noldus Observer behavioral recording and analysis system and Noldus Ethovision automated video tracking system are employed. In addition, several home-cage adopted operant conditioning paradigms (Med-PC equipment) are developed and operationalized to assess various forms of behavioral flexibility and impulsivity in rodents.  

Specialized in the use of various autonomic physiological recording and neuroendocrine monitoring techniques in freely behaving animals: Implantable radio telemetry (Data Sciences Inc.) of EEG, ECG, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, body temperature and locomotor activity, permanent cannulation of the jugular vein for regular blood sampling and/or iv drug infusion, permanent brain cannulation in combination with osmotic mini-pumps for chronic local intracerebral administration of drugs, in-vivo microdialysis of selected brain regions for determination of dynamic changes in neurotransmitter release/turnover.

At the neurobiological level, a series of pharmacological challenge tests are used to establish the functional state of central neurotransmitter and/or peripheral neuroendocrine systems in freely moving animals. In general, behavioral pharmacology is used as a tool to probe in-vivo the functional neurobiological mechanisms of social behavior (aggression/violence, mating), coping style differences as well as the putative neuroadaptive changes induced by social experiences (i.e., winning or losing, social subjugation stress). Finally, quantitative immunocytochemistry, autoradiography and mRNA identification with in-situ hybridization and qPCR for various molecular neurobiological targets are employed.

For translational psychopharmacology purposes, an active pharmaceutical research line is pursued to assess the behavioral (serenic, anxiolytic and mood-enhancing), autonomic physiological (cardiovascular and thermal) and neuroendocrine (HPA and HPG-axis) properties of several novel serotonin receptor ligands and nonapeptide (Oxytocin and Vasopressin) compounds from industry.


1987                                       NWO-MEDIGON Predoctoral Fellowship,

                                               (grant No.900-548-087).

1990                                       NATO Science Fellowship.

1995                                       NWO-MEDIGON postdoctoral fellowship,

                                               (grant No.903-53-101).

1996                                       CBR postdoctoral fellowship, (PhD together with Prof. J.M. Koolhaas).

1997                                       STIGO program grant, (PhD together with prof  B.Bohus and Prof E.R. de Kloet

1998                                                   SLW program grant, (PhD together with PI prof. J.M. Koolhaas).

2008                                                   European Science Foundation  EUROCORES program grant (EuroSTRESS), (2PhD’s together with PI prof. J.M. Koolhaas).

2011                                       NWO/NSO postdoc project grant.

2012                                       Brazilian Science without borders program grant (PhD)

2017                                       RuG Adaptive life grant (PhD)

2013-2018                              13 industrial contract research projects from Servier Pharmaceuticals (4), Sanofi Pharmaceuticals (1), Pierre Fabre Medicament (1), Unilever (1), Solvay (1), AbbVie (4) and Lundbeck (1).







1992- present:                         Coordinator, lecturer, tutor and instructor of several theoretical and practical courses for Bachelor and Master curricula in Biology and Life Sciences.

1992-present:                          Regular supervisor for (research) Master student’s research projects (2-4/year), colloquia (4-6/year) and thesis assignments (4-6/year).

                                               Supervisor and co-promotor of 8 Ph.D. students.

                                               Supervision of 1 biomedical technician.      

                                               External referee of 11 PhD committees: National (5) International (5).

                                               Ad hoc lectures in over 25 training courses on behavioral biology, neuroscience, psychopharmacology and stress & animal welfare.





2017-present                           Member of scientific advisory committee “Willy van Heumenfonds".

2017-2018                              Member of advisory committee “Positieflijst” of ministry EZ/LNV.

2016                                       Member of national advisory workgroup "Drugs and Violence” 

2016-2017                              Member of NCad advisory committee on CoP food/water deprivation.

2008-2014                              Member of the program committee of the LNV/NWO research program ´The value of Animal Welfare: Towards socially accepted and economically viable animal husbandry”.

2006-2016                              Board member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (DEC-RuG).

2006                                       Member of the National Council on Animal Affairs (RDA) evaluation committee on the welfare of circus animals.

2005-2010                              Board member of ALTON, Netherlands Center Alternatives to animal use in education.

1999-present                           Member of the RuG Examination Appeals board (CBE).

1998-present                           Board member and chairman (since 2016) of the “Faculty Library Committee“(FBC).

1996-2010                              Board member Workgroup Telemetrie Nederland (WTN) and co-organizer of the bi-annual national Biotelemetry meetings.

1995-1998:                             Boardmember NWO/Medigon wgm. Neurobiologie van    Gedrag.

1993-1995:                             Board member (secretary) NWO/Medigon wgm Gedrag & Farmaca.

1992-present                           Scientific journal reviewer for  >30 ISI journals.

                                               Grant reviewer for national and international scientific foundations.

                                               Editorial board member of “Physiology & Behavior” and “Frontiers behavioral neuroscience”.






2018:                                      Co-Organizer of international workshop on "Social Stress: psychological and psychosomatic implications” Erice, Italy.

2013:                                      Co-Organizer Animal Individuality meeting symposium (Groningen) ‘Neurobiology of animal personalities’.

2013:                                      Co-Organizer Retirement symposium J.M. Koolhaas (Groningen) “The Social Brain in a dynamic social environment”.

2012:                                      Co-organizer symposium ISRA meeting (Luxemburg) “Translational Research on Aggression”.

2009:                                      Co-organizer International Lorentz Center Workshop (Leiden) “Context, Causes and Consequences of Conflict’.

2007:                                      Co-organizer Society Neuroscience Meeting symposium (San Diego) “Neurobiology of Aggression and Violence”.

2005:                                                  Co-organizer European Journal Pharmacology meeting (Utrecht). “Neuropsychopharmacology of aggression and addiction’.

2003:                                      Co-organizer European Behavioral Pharmacology Society meeting (Antwerp) symposium ‘5-HT receptor subtypes and excessive behavior: aggression, sex and appetite.




2016 -         :                           Boardmember of  nature conservation organization             “Natuurcollectief Friesland”.                             

1995 -        :                           Boardmember (chairman since 2002) of Wildlife organisation ‘WBE Skarsterlân e.o.’

1997 - 2005:                           Boardmember of the Natural History Museum Joure.





131 papers in ISI journals with over 12000 citations and H-index of 56 (see:

33 book chapters and non-ISI publications.

16 contract research reports for industry.

Laatst gewijzigd:23 juli 2018 14:08

Contact information

building 5171, Room 2-38 (office) Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG Groningen, Netherlands

Job title:
Acting head behavioural Physiology unit