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Neurosciences

Term: 01.09.2020 – 31.08.2021

Clinical and animal studies implicate neuroinflammatory features (interleukines, chemokines, adipokines, oxytocin, alarmins) as part of the pathophysiology. BurstDR-SCS and DRG-SCS stimulation present a paradigm shift in current neurostimulation to address the treatment of CPSP-associated pain. Such molecular analysis may underpin the emerging role of CPSP-related molecular patterns as potential biomarkers to reliably reproduce spinal stimulation effects.

Term: 01.06.-2020 – 31.05.2021

We have shown that pericytes derived from the adult human brain can be reprogrammed into induced neurons (iNs) by overexpressing the transcription factors Ascl1 and Sox2. A major challenge to further assess functionality of iNs is posed by the lack of human model systems to study whether iNs adopt properties of human bona fide neurons. In the present proposal we therefore aim at assessing the impact of the cellular microenvironment provided by brain organoids on the reprogramming outcome.

Term: not started yet

Functional organisation of brain circuits supporting adaptive behaviours has informed development of novel therapeutic interventions. In this interdisciplinary proposal we will combine artificial intelligence approaches with innovative electrophysiological recordings in behaving mice to decipher neural representations of innate behaviours in the hypothalamus. The results will enable new insights into the function of a blueprint circuit for behavioural command.

Term: not started yet

Pericytes are small cells around brain capillaries and play a major role in maintenance of the blood brain barrier. In intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), blood products induce complex processes leading to dysfunction of pericytes, impairment of the blood brain barrier and perihemorrhagic edema (PHE) formation. Aim of this study is to identify the blood metabolites triggering pericyte dysfunction to develop treatment strategies against PHE formation and to improve functional outcome of ICH patients.

Term: 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2021

During development a small starting population of neural stem cells (NSCs) give rise to all neurons and macroglia cells in the mature central nervous system. Hence, controlling NSC decisions is crucial for the accurate production of the right amount of the desired cell types at the right time and place. Here we aim at determining cellular features that allow a prospective identification of lineage choices and thus will facilitate to reveal the molecular logic of decision-taking processes.

Term: not started yet

Diagnosis of the rare neurodegenerative disease multisystem atrophy (MSA) is hampered by a lack of biomarkers. We could show that in an MSA mouse model, a myelin deficit can be visualized by quant. susceptibility mapping (QSM)on MRI. Our preliminary clinical data show similar results. The aim is now to comprehensively assess QSM imaging as a biomarker for the differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.

Term: Not started yet

MGluR7 has been correlated with hearing deficits and low glutamate affinity. Dimeric mGluRs can build inhibitory feedback loops thereby protecting the pre-synapse from toxic stimuli. Besides pre-synaptic localization of mGluR7 also mGluR4 & 8 were described pre-synaptically at IHC ribbon synapses. Heterodimeric mGluRs have unique properties, therefore it is essential to analyse if mGluR7 is present as homo- or heterodimer to analyse the function using electrophysiological techniques.