Associate Research Professor of Psychology


Ph.D., University of Trier

Field of Specialty

Dr. Rohleder's expertise is in human psychoneuroimmunologal and psychoneuroendocrinologal research. In particular, Dr. Rohleder is the Co-Director of the Laboratory for Biological Health Psychology, in which current research addresses the question how acute and chronic stress is translated into pathophysiological mechanisms at the level of organs and cells.

Contact Information

Brown Social Science Center 109

Personal Web Page

Nicolas Rohleder

Dr. Rohleder's main research interest is the interaction between the central nervous system with the periphery of the body. More specifically, research focuses on how central nervous system states affect biomedical health through efferent signaling pathways. For example, current projects address the question whether and how repeated stress exposure during the lifespan can lead to cumulative organ damage and thus accelerate the aging process.


Juliana G. Breines, Christine M. McInnis, Yuliya I. Kuras, Myriam V. Thoma, Danielle Gianferante, Luke Hanlin, Xuejie Chen & Nicolas Rohleder. "Self-compassionate young adults show lower salivary alpha-amylase responses to repeated psychosocial stress." Self and Identity (2015). (forthcoming)

KATHERINE B. EHRLICH, GREGORY E. MILLER, NICOLAS ROHLEDER, AND EMMA K. ADAM. "Trajectories of relationship stress and inflammatory processes in adolescence." Development and Psychopathology (2015). (forthcoming)

McInnis, CM Wang, D Gianferante, D Hanlin, L Chen, X Thoma, MV Rohleder, N. "Response and habituation of pro and anti inflammatory gene expression to repeated acute stress.." Brain Behav Immun (2015). (forthcoming)

Strahler, J Rohleder, N Wolf, JM. "Acute psychosocial stress induces differential short-term changes in catecholamine sensitivity of stimulated inflammatory cytokine production.." Brain Behav Immun 43. (2015): 139-48.

Breines, JG; Thoma, MV; Gianferante, D; Hanlin, L; Chen; X & Rohleder, N.. "Self-compassion as a predictor of interleukin-6 response to acute psychosocial stress." Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 37. (2014): 109-114.

Gianferante, D Thoma, MV Hanlin, L Chen, X Breines, JG Zoccola, PM Rohleder, N. "Post-stress rumination predicts HPA axis responses to repeated acute stress.." Psychoneuroendocrinology 49. (2014): 244-252.

Kern, S Rohleder, N Eisenhofer, G Lange, J Ziemssen, T. "Time matters - Acute stress response and glucocorticoid sensitivity in early multiple sclerosis.." Brain Behav Immun 41. (2014): 82-9.

Rohleder, N.. "Stimulation of systemic low-grade Inflammation by Psychosocial Stress." Psychosomatic Medicine in press. (2014).

Bellingrath S, Rohleder N, Kudielka BM.. "Effort-reward-imbalance in healthy teachers is associated with higher LPS-stimulated production and lower glucocorticoid sensitivity of interleukin-6 in vitro.." Biol Psychol. 92. 2 (2013): 403-9.

Murphy, M. L. M. Slavich, G. M. Rohleder, N. Miller, G. E.. "Targeted Rejection Triggers Differential Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Gene Expression in Adolescents as a Function of Social Status." Clinical Psychological Science 1. 1 (2013): 30-40.

Berndt C, Strahler J, Kirschbaum C, Rohleder N.. "Lower stress system activity and higher peripheral inflammation in competitive ballroom dancers.." Biol Psychol. 91. 3 (2012): 357-64.

Geiss, A, Rohleder, N, Anton, F. "Evidence for an association between an enhanced reactivity of interleukin-6 levels and reduced glucocorticoid sensitivity in patients with fibromyalgia.." Psychoneuroendocrinology 37. 5 (2012): 671-84.

Het, S, Schoofs, D, Rohleder, N, Wolf, OT. "Stress-Induced Cortisol Level Elevations Are Associated With Reduced Negative Affect After Stress: Indications for a Mood-Buffering Cortisol Effect.." Psychosom Med 74. 1 (2012): 23-32.

Rohleder N, Aringer M, Boentert M.. "Role of interleukin-6 in stress, sleep, and fatigue.." Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1261. (2012): 88-96.

Rohleder, N Wolf, J.M., Gellman, M.D. Turner, J.R.. "Inflammation." Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. 2012.

Rohleder, N. "A snapshot of the inner workings of the inflammatory machinery in PTSD with early trauma.." Brain Behav Immun 26. 1 (2012): 11-2.

Rohleder, N. "Acute and chronic stress induced changes in sensitivity of peripheral inflammatory pathways to the signals of multiple stress systems - 2011 Curt Richter Award Winner.." Psychoneuroendocrinology 37. 3 (2012): 307-16.

Rohleder, Nicolas, Gellman, M.D. Turner, J.R.. "Interleukins, -1 (IL-1), -6 (IL-6), -18 (IL-18)." Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. 2012.

Rohleder, Nicolas, Gellman, M.D. Turner, J.R.. "Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-Alpha)." Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. 2012.

Thoma MV, Kirschbaum C, Wolf JM, Rohleder N.. "Acute stress responses in salivary alpha-amylase predict increases of plasma norepinephrine.." Biol Psychol. 91. 3 (2012): 342-8.

Rohleder, N. "Variability in stress system regulatory control of inflammation: a critical factor mediating health effects of stress." Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism 6. 2 (2011): 269-278.

Rohleder, Nicolas. "Psychoneuroendocrinological and –immunological changes over the life span [Psychoendokrinologische und -immunologische Veränderungen während der Lebensspanne]." Psychoendokrinologie und Psychoimmunologie. 1 ed. vol. 1 Ed. Ehlert, U. & von Känel, R.. Heidelberg: Springer, 2011

Strahler, J, Kirschbaum, C, Rohleder, N. "Association of blood pressure and antihypertensive drugs with diurnal alpha-amylase activity.." Int J Psychophysiol 81. 1 (2011): 31-7.

Thoma, MV, Joksimovic, L, Kirschbaum, C, Wolf, JM, Rohleder, N. "Altered salivary alpha-amylase awakening response in Bosnian War refugees with posttraumatic stress disorder.." Psychoneuroendocrinology (2011).

Bellingrath, S., Rohleder, N. & Kudielka, B.M.. "Healthy working school teachers with high effort-reward-imbalance and overcommitment show increased pro-inflammatory immune activity and a dampened innate immune defense." Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 24. 8 (2010): 1332-9.

Rohleder, N, Wolf, JM, Wolf OT. "Glucocorticoid Sensitivity of Cognitive and Inflammatory Processes in Depression and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder." Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (2010).

Strahler, J., Berndt, C., Kirschbaum, C. & Rohleder, N.. "Aging diurnal rhythms and chronic stress: distinct alteration of diurnal rhythmicity of salivary α-amylase and cortisol." Biological Psychology 84. 2 (2010): 248-256.

Strahler, J., Mueller, A., Rosenloecher, F., Kirschbaum, C. & Rohleder, N.. "Salivary alpha-amylase stress reactivity across different age groups." Psychophysiology 47. 3 (2010): 587-95.

Het S, Rohleder N, Schoofs D, Kirschbaum C, Wolf OT. "Neuroendocrine and psychometric evaluation of a placebo version of the 'Trier Social Stress Test'." Psychoneuroendocrinology 34. 7 (2009): 1075-1086.

Miller, GE, Rohleder, N, Cole, SW. "Chronic interpersonal stress predicts activation of pro- and anti-inflammatory signaling pathways 6 months later.." Psychosom Med 71. 1 (2009): 57-62.

Muller, J., Karl, A., Denke, C., Mathier, F., Dittmann, J., Rohleder, N., Knaevelsrud, C.. "Biofeedback for Pain Management in Traumatised Refugees.." Cogn Behav Ther 38. 3 (2009): 184-190.

Nater, UM, Rohleder, N. "Salivary alpha-amylase as a non-invasive biomarker for the sympathetic nervous system: Current state of research.." Psychoneuroendocrinology 34. 4 (2009): 486-496.

Papadopoulos, A, Ebrecht, M, Roberts, AD, Poon, L, Rohleder, N, Cleare, AJ. "Glucocorticoid receptor mediated negative feedback in chronic fatigue syndrome using the low dose (0.5 mg) dexamethasone suppression test.." J Affect Disord 112. 1-3 (2009): 289-94.

Rohleder N, Marin T, Ma R, Miller GE. "The biologic cost of caring for a cancer patient - dysregulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory signalling pathways." Journal of Clinical Oncology 27. 18 (2009): 2909-15.

Rohleder, N, Nater, UM. "Determinants of salivary alpha-amylase in humans and methodological considerations.." Psychoneuroendocrinology 34. 4 (2009): 469-485.

Rohleder, N, Wolf, JM, Kirschbaum, C, Wolf, OT. "Effects of cortisol on emotional but not on neutral memory are correlated with peripheral glucocorticoid sensitivity of inflammatory cytokine production.." Int J Psychophysiol 72 (2009): 74-80.

Rohleder, Nicolas. "Adding another level of complexity to the depression-inflammation link: what mediates the mediator?." Brain, behavior, and immunity 23. 4 (2009): 411-412.

Lutgendorf, SK, Weinrib, AZ, Penedo, F, Russell, D, Degeest, K, Costanzo, ES, Henderson, PJ, Sephton, SE, Rohleder, N, Lucci, JA 3rd, Cole, S, Sood, AK, Lubaroff, DM. "Interleukin-6, Cortisol, and Depressive Symptoms in Ovarian Cancer Patients.." J Clin Oncol 26. 29 (2008): 4820-7.

Rohleder, N, Chen, E, Wolf, JM, Miller, GE. "The psychobiology of trait shame in young women: extending the social self preservation theory.." Health Psychol 27. 5 (2008): 523-32.

Rohleder, N, Miller, GE. "Acute deviations from long-term trait depressive symptoms predict systemic inflammatory activity.." Brain Behav Immun 22. 5 (2008): 709-16.

Wolf, JM, Rohleder, N, Bierhaus, A, Nawroth, PP, Kirschbaum, C. "Determinants of the NF-kappaB response to acute psychosocial stress in humans.." Brain Behav Immun (2008).

Courses Taught

NPSY 141a Stress, Physiology, and Health
PSYC 38a Health Psychology
PSYC 52a Research Methods and Laboratory in Psychology