Universiteit Maastricht

Personal profile page

Prof. Dr. J Ramaekers (Jan)


Professor of Psychopharmacology and Behavioral Toxicology


Faculty / Department
  • Psychology and Neuroscience, Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology, Psychopharmacology

Phone number: +31433881951

Location: 2.732 UNS40

Prof. Dr. J  Ramaekers

Professional Career History

  • 2009-present: Professor of Psychopharmacology and Behavioral Toxicology
  • 2007-2012: Head of Dept Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  • 2007-2012: Assistant treasurer, International Council on Alcohol, Drugs & Traffic Safety (ICADTS)
  • 2006-2009: Associate professor, Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience, Dept of  Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  • 2004-present: Faculty member, Robert F Borkenstein Center for studies on Law in Action, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
  • 1998-2006: Assistant professor, Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience, Department of Neurocognition, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  • 1998: Doctorate, ‘Behavioral Toxicity of Medicinal Drugs’, defended on November 19, 1998

Research Profile

Research areas:

  • Psychopharmacology, Clinical and Experimental
  • Addiction, Drugs of abuse, impulse control
  • Human drug trials, Human performance, behavioral toxicology
  • Drugs and driving, Traffic psychology


Research Projects


Dr Jan Ramaekers has been co-promoter and principal investigator of a number of PhD research programs at the Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience, Maastricht University. His work focuses on behavioral toxicology of drugs and combines methods from psychopharmacology, forensic toxicology and neuroscience to determine drug induced changes in human performance. Example of research lines include:

  • Neurocognition in cannabis users: This line of research focuses on THC induced neurocognitive deficits and susceptibility for cannabis dependence as a function of cannabis use history, genetic variation in dopamine metabolism and cannabis cue exposure.
  • Neuropsychopharmacology of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): This work focuses on cognitive impairments and pro-social effects of MDMA during intoxication and the neuropharmacology underlying MDMA induced changes in behavior.
  • Impaired motorists: A range of placebo controlled studies have been conduced to assess drug induced driving impairment as determined in on-the-road driving tests and neurocognitive tasks. The work provides a strong scientific rationale for international harm classification systems of medicinal drug effects on driver safety and per se legislation for driving under the influence of drugs.

For more information on our research group:



References to European research programs:

  • Addiction and lifestyles in contemporary Europe (ALICE RAP): www.alicerap.eu




Official Publications

Most recent publications:

Extended plasma cannabinoid excretion in chronic frequent cannabis smokers during sustained abstinence and correlation with psychomotor performance

Karschner, E.L.; Swortwood, M.J.; Hirvonen, J.; Goodwin, R.S.; Bosker, W.M.; Ramaekers, J.G.; Huestis, M.A., 2015, Drug Testing and Analysis, , .

Electroencephalography during on-the-road driving in older untreated insomnia patients and normal sleepers

Perrier, J.; Leufkens, T.R.M.; Bulla, J.; Jongen, S.; Bocca, M.L.; Ramaekers, J.G.; Vermeeren, A., 2015, Biological Psychology, 109, 20-28.

Smoked cannabis' psychomotor and neurocognitive effects in occasional and frequent smokers

Desrosiers, N.A.; Ramaekers, J.G.; Chauchard, E.; Gorelick, D.A.; Huestis, M.A., 2015, Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 39(4), 251-261.


Teaching areas:

  • Drugs of abuse, medicinal drugs, human performance
  • Drugs and driving, Traffic psychology
  • Addiction, impulse control

Extra Activities

Society Memberships: International College on Neuropsychopharmacology, British Association for Psychopharmacology, International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety.

Faculty member, Center for studies on law in action, Indiana University, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, 2004-present.

Treasurer International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS), 2007-2012

DSMB member Astellas, 2013-2014