Roger Adan


Prof. Roger Adan

  • psychoses
  • genetic risks
  • environmental risks
  • translational research
  • structure and connections
+31 88 7568517


Roger Adan was trained as a molecular neurobiologist and received his PhD in 1992 on the regulation of vasopressin and oxytocin gene expression. Since 2002 he is full professor in molecular pharmacology. Via his work on melanocortin receptors he became an expert in molecular and neural pathways underlying feeding behavior, obesity and eating disorders. His lab has a strong multidisciplinary character. A variety of strategies (pharmacogenetics, viral vector technology, in vivo electrophysiology, opto- and chemogenetics and automated behavioral and physiological analysis) is used to unravel mechanism underlying behavior.  The main focus is on feeding, since this is a natural behavior ideally suited to dissect neural circuits that underlie decision making, anxiety, anhedonia, impulsivity and reward seeking.  

Research line and group

Research line
neural circuits of feeding and related behaviors
Number of PhD students
Number of postdocs

Personal fellowships and awards

  • NWO-VIDI grant (016.036.322): Role of neuropeptides in disorders of energy balance
  • ZOnMW-TOP grant (40-00812-98-14093): Shining light on loss of control over substance and food intake
  • co-applicant of 4 granted FP7 programs (Nudge-IT, NeuroFast, Full4Health and I.Family)
  • Recipient of the Rudolf Magnus Research Prize 2003
  • Recipient of the Organon prize for pharmacology 2004

Most recent key publications

  • Meye FJ, Adan RA. Feelings about food: the ventral tegmental area in food reward and emotional eating. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2014 Jan;35(1):31-40
  • Boraska V, Adan RA, Bulik C A genome-wide association study of anorexia nervosa. Mol Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;19(10):1085-94
  • Adan RA. Mechanisms underlying current and future anti-obesity drugs. Trends Neurosci. 2013 Feb;36(2):133-40
  • Meye FJ, Trezza V, Vanderschuren LJ, Ramakers GM, Adan RA.Neutral antagonism at the cannabinoid 1 receptor: a safer treatment for obesity. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Dec;18(12):1294-301
  • van der Plasse G, Merkestein M, Luijendijk MC, van der Roest M, Westenberg HG, Mulder AB, Adan RA. Food cues and ghrelin recruit the same neuronal circuitry. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Jul;37(7):1012-9.