Brain Disease, Repair, and Neuroimmunology
We tackle basic questions of brain plasticity including the pathways controlling inflammation neurogenesis, behavior, cognition, psychological pathology and mood disorders, resilience to stress, addiction, and attention at the molecular, cellular, biochemical, and immunological levels. Striving to understand the mechanisms underlying the normal function of the nervous system, goes hand in hand with identifying the malfunctions/dysfunctions occurring under abnormal and disease conditions. Of particular interest are approaches to harness or boost the body’s own biochemical and immunological mechanisms to restore homeostasis and to fight off disorders that include neurodevelopmental diseases such as Schizophrenia, Autism, and Tourette syndrome; neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS; and mental dysfunctions including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), motivated behavior (hunger, thirst, sex), metabolic syndromes, drug addiction and alcoholism, and age-related dementia. Each of the scientists in the Department is focused on different aspects of these conditions. Yet the research groups use multidisciplinary tools encompassing molecular genetics, biochemistry, immunology, imaging, electrophysiology, and behavioral tasks in animal models .