Marian Joëls

Profiel M Joels

Prof. Marian Joëls

  • environmental risks
  • translational research
+31 88 75 68138


Marian Joëls obtained her PhD degree in Utrecht (1984) with David de Wied. She carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California. Between 1991 and 2009 she was appointed at the University of Amsterdam, first as associate professor and subsequently as full professor in neurobiology. Since 2009 she is (full) professor of neuroscience in Utrecht. Currently she is scientific director of the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus. Her research focuses on the effects of stress in the brain. With patch clamp technology, she studies how corticosteroid hormones change cellular function of limbic neurons. This is linked to the underlying molecular mechanism and the consequences at the circuit level. As a final step, the effects of stress on functional connectivity and behavioral outcome are studied, both in rodents and humans. In her work, she pays particular attention to the influence of stress during early life and the result of prolonged periods of stress in adulthood. The relevance of such critical periods of stress -in interaction with a vulnerable genetic background- for the development of brain disorders are investigated in various patient cohorts. Her work was published in >275 publications and to date has been cited >15,000 times. Marian Joëls was elected as a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. She served as President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies between 2012 and 2014.

Research line and group

Research line
Stress and the Brain
Number of PhD students
Number of postdocs

Personal fellowships and awards

  • NWO Gravitation grand 'Individual Development' (co-applicant), 2012
  • ZonMW TOP Grants (main applicant), 2013, 2007 and 2002
  • Kraepelin Honorary Professor at the MPI for Psychiatry, 2007
  • Mortyn Jones Memorial Medal from the BSN, 2000
  • NWO Pioneer career grant, 1996

Most recent key publications

  • R.A. Sarabdjitsingh, J. Jezequel, N. Pasricha, L. Mikasova, A. Kerkhofs, H. Karst, L. Groc*, M. Joëls*, Ultradian corticosterone pulses balance glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111, 14265-14270, 2014.
  • M.J.A.G. Henckens, G.A. van Wingen, M. Joëls, G. Fernández, Time-dependent corticosteroid modulation of prefrontal working memory processing, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 108, 5801-5806, 2011
  • H. Karst, S. Berger, G. Erdmann, G. Schütz and M. Joëls, Metaplasticity of amygdalar responses to the stress hormone corticosterone, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107, 14449-14454, 2010
  • M. Joëls and T.Z. Baram, The Neuro-Symphony of Stress. Nature Rev Neurosci. 10, 459-466, 2009
  • H. Karst, S. Berger, M. Turiault, F. Tronche, G, Schütz and M. Joëls, Mineralocorticoid receptors are indispensable for non-genomic modulation of hippocampal glutamate transmission by corticosterone. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 102, 19204-19207, 2005