Practical course in our group

WhatsApp Image 2020-12-04 at 11.54.51From 11/16/20 to 11/27/20 the practical course “Neurobiological visualization of social interaction in mice” took place in our group.
During this time, two students were able to conduct behavioral tests and record ultrasonic vocalizations under supervision. They also got an insight into the corresponding evaluation software. Tissue samples were taken from the animals and sections made with the cryostat. Immunohistological staining was carried out with subsequent photo documentation at the microscope.
This all-around insight into animal research will be given to two more trainees on December 7th, 2020.

Welcome Sevim

IMG-20201113-WA0007We were also able welcome a new doctoral student to our group in November.
Sevim came from Turkey and is working on her PhD with us for one year and in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Onur Güntürkün (Department of Biopsychology). Her focus is on the effects of prenatal stress on functional cerebral asymmetries and their underlying molecular background. She will be investigating rats by using comprehensive methods including several behavioural tests and genetic analyses.
If you want to learn more about Sevim, click HERE.

Welcome and good luck with your experiments.

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-18 at 08.29.05

Welcome in our lab

We welcome three new Master’s students to our group.
Karina, Selina and Patrick  are now supporting our team.

Karina’s master thesis focuses on the effects of maternal immune activation (MIA) on the neurodevelopment in the offspring. Specifically, she will investigate the role of MIA in developing neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia.

Selinas master thesis investigates the neurobiological consequences of early life stress in a rat model following maternal separation.

Patricks is interested if overexpression of the Dopamin D1-Receptor (D1R) in the medial prefrontal cortex can induce hedonic behavior. Therefore, rats get injected with D1R mRNA or a control mRNA and different behavioral tests are performed to assess various aspects of hedonic behavior. Afterward, brain tissue is analyzed to verify an expression of the mRNA and further resulting molecular changes.

Welcome, and we are looking forward to working with you!



PHOTO-2020-10-08-17-27-31PHOTO-2020-10-08-16-36-40Last week Annakrina very successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on early life stress and epigenetic mechanisms. She was able to include 12 manuscripts in her thesis. The committee was very impressed by her work.  Congratulations, Dr. Mundorf!

Farewells and new beginnings

WhatsApp Image 2020-12-07 at 10.48.30After we were able to say goodbye to three of our Bachelor students who despite the pandemic were able to finish their theses, we are very happy about our new Bachelor student Nadine Klinker.
The topic of her bachelor thesis are the molecular mechanisms of risk behaviour in an animal model of bipolar disorder. By immunohistochemical investigation she is looking for the methyl
CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in different brain regions. Quantitative data will be collected to investigate a link between theisepigenetic factor, which is expressed in central nervous tissue,
and the risk behaviour of rats. The rats were therefore tested in an operant rodent version of the Iowa gambling task.
We are looking forward working with you!


Congrats x 4 to our Master and bachelor students!

Despite of the Corona-virus pandemic and #ruhruniremote, our lab kept on working (as safe as possible) and produced some fantastic results!  Thus, we are happy to announce that four of our students recently submitted their Master’s and Bachelor’s thesis. Congrats to Flo, Karola, Nadja K. and Malin for their great work, patience (especially with all the animal behavior), and lots of effort refining certain methods in our lab! You will all be missed. They used different approaches to investigate behavioral and neurological impairments in our PolyI:C schizophrenia models as well as in a new mouse model for Bipolar disorder. Stay tuned for upcoming results!

Early life stress leads to atypical leftward turning in rats!

Elevated Plus Maze3In a recently published study in Behavioural Brain Research, Anna and Nadja, together with Sebastian and Hiroshi from the Department Biopsychology at the Ruhr-University Bochum, investigated the effects of early life stress on the turning behavior of rats using DeepLabCut. Interestingly, prolonged maternal separation leads to atypical leftward asymmetry in turning behavior and more left than right turns in the elevated plus maze. Analyzing turning behavior after stress exposure might even be a good way to investigate atypical asymmetries in psychiatric models.

Check out their study Asymmetry of turning behavior in rats is modulated by early life stress here.


Congrats Mate!

We are happy to announce that Mate has been awarded the FoRUM grant of the Medical Faculty of the Ruhr-University for his MD project. Therewith, he plans to investigate the influence of early life stress on neuroinflammation and GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus and amygdala in rats exposed to maternal separation. Congratulations Mate!


FENS 2020 Virtual Forum

Annakarina, Dominik, Martina and Nadja K. are presenting virtual posters at the FENS Forum. Please stop by and feel free to ask questions via live chat or email!

Sunday pm & Wednesday am:

1113 – Metacontrol based on categorization in the pigeon brain (Martina)

Monday pm & Wednesday am:

2309 – Prefrontal dopamine D1 receptor manipulation influences anxiety behavior and induces neuroinflammation in the hippocampus (Dominik)

2310 – Lasting consequences of maternal separation over the course of development on behavior and neurobiology (Annakarina)

2312 – The emergence of schizophrenia-like symptoms after maternal immune activation over different developmental stages (Nadja K.)

Congratulations, Lisa!

PHOTO-2020-07-01-11-53-24Just days before the Corona lockdown Lisa had handed in her M.Sc. thesis on risk-taking in our rat bipolar disorder model. Lisa was able to establish the rodent version of the Iowa Gambling Task in our lab. We thank her a lot for her patience and commitment when setting up the new operant boxes. Unfortunately, we were not able to have a proper celebration and could only say goodby via Zoom. Lisa, we wish you all the best for your future!