Joris Verster

Joris Verster is principal investigator at the Division of Pharmacology and an expert in conducting clinical research in the area of food and pharma. The primary goal of this group is to conduct clinical studies to investigate the efficacy and safety of medicinal products and nutrition, with a strong focus on the interaction of immune function and the Central Nervous System on health and disease. The research of Dr. Verster‘s group is multidisciplinary, using a variety of research methodologies including clinical trials, surveys, naturalistic study designs, and the assessment of biomarkers for health and disease such as cytokines. The group has ongoing international research collaborations, for example with the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University, Australia, where Dr. Verster is appointed as associate professor.


Joris C Verster (1970) studied psychology and obtained his PhD at the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2002. Verster is Associate Professor at the Division of Pharmacology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, director of the Centre for Drugs & Driving at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and Adjunct Professor of Human Psychopharmacology at the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology of Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

He has a track record of clinical trials examining the effects of CNS drugs and psychoactive substances on cognitive and psychomotor functioning, memory, and daily activities such as driving a car. He has conducted extensive research into the causes and consequences of alcohol hangover and is founder of the Alcohol Hangover Research Group. Verster is currently supervising PhD candidates at Utrecht University (Netherlands), the University of the West of England (UK), and the University of Bath (UK). 

Verster is editor of several books including Drugs, Driving and Traffic Safety, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Current Drug Abuse Reviews, and editorial board member of several scientific journals. His research is regularly covered by international media and he is (co)-author of over 150 articles and book chapters.

Selected publications

  1. Donners AAMT, Tromp MDP, Garssen J, Roth T, Verster JC. Perceived immune status and sleep: a survey among Dutch students. Sleep Disorders 2015, Article ID 721607,
  2. Verster JC, Bervoets AC, de Klerk S, Vreman RA, Olivier B, Roth T, Brookhuis KA. Effects of alcohol hangover on simulated highway driving performance. Psychopharmacology 2014, 231 (15): 2999-3008.
  3. Verster JC, Roth T. Blood drug concentrations of benzodiazepines correlate poorly with actual driving impairment. Sleep Medicine Reviews 2013, 17 (2): 153-159.

More information can be found on his staff page