Disease Modelling

In the research group Disease Modelling we aim to unravel the patho-mechanisms of age-associated neurological and psychiatric diseases in a complementary and interdisciplinary way. By bundeling and coordinating the efforts of four teams (Parkinson´s Disease, Dementia, Behavioural Neuroscience and Neuronal Differentiation and Maintenance Team) we focus on understanding how genetic predisposition, ageing and environmental conditions are contributing to the development of these diseases by modelling of human neuropsychiatric disease and deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the respective pathomechanisms in vivo. Since PD and AD patients do also exhibit to a large extend psychiatric symptoms (i.e. depression) this research group also contributes to the work of the CCG “Molecular Neurogenetics” and vice versa. We are complementing this work with developmental analysis of some of the affected neuronal populations in these diseases to gain insights into their preferential susceptibility or protection against genetic and environmental insults. In order to achieve our goals we are generating and comprehensively analysing loss-of-function -, gain-of-function -, and or humanized mouse models for disease associated genes. In selected cases we are exposing them to environmental stressors (i.e. diet, oxidative stressors, inflammation and/or exercise) in order to elucidate the role of environment on the pathomechanism of the diseases.