Our article on MORC1 methylation in healthy adults and symptoms of depression got featured in science trends. Check it out here: https://sciencetrends.com/is-methylation-of-morc1-a-depression-biomarker/
The role of Microglia in psychiatric disorders is getting more and more important. These macrophages of the brain might play an important role in affective disorders like depression and bipolar disorder as well as in schizophrenia. Therefore, Nadja is joining the discussion about new developments in microglial Research at the SyNergy Microglial Meeting 2018 in Munich. On Friday the 21th of September Nadja is giving a talk about Microglia activation in the PolyI:C model of schizophrenia at the meeting. At the talk, she will also discuss recent findings of David’s and Marie’s work.
The annual meeting of the German Society for Bipolar Disorder (DGBS) is taking place from the 6th to the 8th of September in Hamburg. This conference brings together patients, relatives of patients and scientist associated with Bipolar Disorder. Dominik will not only attend there for fruitful discussions and learn more about the human side of Bipolar Disorder. He has the great honor to give a talk about animal models for Bipolar Disorder, focusing on his recently published article animal models for bipolar disorders: from bedside to the cage. The talk will take place in the session “recent findings from research” together with the winner of last year Jules-Angst research award of the DGBS Dr. Sarah Kittel-Schneider. Feel free to join if you are interested!
From the 05th until the 11th of September Nadja will be part of the Evolution of the brain Summer School at the Hokkaido University (Sapporo, Japan). Organized by leading scientists from the Hokkaido University and the Ruhr-University Bochum the summer school aims to teach young neuroscientist in their early career about various subjects of comparative neuroscience and brain evolution. In her talk, Nadja will give an overview of emotion across different animal species.
Besides interesting talks around the topic of comparative neuroscience and brain evolution, the summer school moreover, provides practical lab sessions, in which participants can learn state of the art techniques, a project planning workshop and more! More information can be found here.
At the recent FENS Forum in Berlin, we proudly presented current findings of our research. The posters ranged from cell culture approaches (Marie) to an animal model of bipolar disorder (Dominik), consequences of early life stress (Anna) and a new application for an improved two-bottle-preference task investigation (Jenny).
We were pleased about the huge interest in our work and the fruitful discussions at the meeting!
A goal for most researchers is to strengthen their findings with cross-species research. Only animal studies allow us to investigate the direct effect of external factors on the brain. But of course, we want to know if findings from animal studies also apply to humans and if findings from human peripheral tissue correlate to findings in the rodent brain. Therefore, in collaboration with the biopsychology lab, we investigated the Morc1 methylation of buccal cells in healthy human adults. Interestingly, we found a significant positive correlation between Morc1 hypermethylation and depressive symptoms. Moreover, we were able to support the already reported connection between early life stress and Morc1 hypomethylation. This finding strengthens the involvement of Morc1 in early life stress and depression. It further reinforces the importance of ongoing animal studies in the role of Morc1 which Anna is carrying out in her Ph.D. thesis. Stay tuned for new breakthroughs in Morc1 as a possible biomarker for depression on our page!
Check out Annas and Nadjas article Methylation of MORC1: A possible biomarker for depression? published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research here!
We are very fortunate to have four new wonderful lab members.
Elham Makkawi and Annina Widmann are both doing their medical doctoral thesis. Stefanie Rommel is a psychology student working on her bachelor thesis and Annika Mattukat will write her bachelor thesis in biology in our lab. Welcome ladies!
For the next four months Anna is going to be a visiting researcher at the Developmental Psychopathology Lab at King’s College in London. During her visit she is going to work on the consequences of early life stress in human samples, connecting her animal research with human data. The project abroad is supported by the Ruhr-University Research School PLUS. We wish you all the best and good luck, Anna. Take care!
This year our labs’ participation at the DGBP meeting in Heidelberg was very broad. With two posters, a workshop and a symposium Nadja, Anna and Dominik were able to connect with other researchers and interested young scientist. We are happy about the huge interest in our work and the fruitful disussions at the meeting. On top of it, Dominik was awarded with a poster prize! Congrats Dominik! Keep going!
On top of the world, or in the depths of despair – normal mood swings or pathological? Nadja is going to talk about bipolar disorder, the different aspects and new approaches in her hometown. The talk will be at the Katholisches Pfarrzentrum in Weiher (Pfarrer Vogel Str. 8) next Thursday, 8th of February at 7.30 pm. Come on and join the discussion.