Coronavirus- Current status

homeoffice2Due to the Corona-virus pandemic, Ruhr-Universität Bochum went to emergency operation. Therefore our experiments are reduced to a minimum as well. Ongoing experiments are still being completed by individual employees under strict conditions. All other employees are working from home in a safe environment. At this point, we would like to thank our emergency staff. We hope that normal operation can be resumed soon.

We wish everyone health and take care of yourself. Get the best out of the current situation.

#stayathome #ruhruniremote

Congrats Laura and Kimberly!

Last week Kimberly and Laura handed in their bachelor theses. Both were working on different aspects of PolyIC induced maternal immune activation. Lots of new methods had to be established and (successfully)  adapted to their specific research questions. Laura was interested in the brain-gut axis in schizophrenia while Kimberly was investigating aspects of cellular senescence. Congratulations and we are very happy that both of you will stay with us!

Kimberly, Nadja and Laura

Kimberly, Nadja and Laura

Bipolar Disorder: Its Etiology and How to Model in Rodents


Together with Prof. Juckel, clinical director of the LWL University hospital, Nadja wrote a chapter in the book “Psychiatric Disorders Methods and Protocols” published by Springer Science and edited by Firas H Kobeissy.

The chapter by Nadja is entitled “Bipolar Disorder: Its Etiology and How to Model in Rodents” and provides deep insights into the etiology of Bipolar Disorder and different animal models. For more information click here.


new year new projects

As 2019 ends, we are thankful for a wonderful year with exciting projects successfully finished by our great students. We are looking forward to new students joining our lab and their fantastic new projects starting.

Interesting studies about either bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or early life stress are coming up this year from the Freundlab. Stay tuned for upcoming publications!

New paper out!

In collaboration with the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Tübingen, we recently published our study about the effects of daily Lithium injection on glutamine synthetase (GS) activity in mouse hippocampus. Thanks to our reporter mice, we were able to detect rapid changes in GS promotor activity. Turns out, daily Lithium injection might act protectively against injection stress by preventing stress-related GS-promotor activity changes found in control animals.gsmauskresylbgal10x

Thanks to the fortüne – Forschungsförderung der Tübinger Medizinischen Fakultät for funding this interesting project!
Check out our paper:

Lithium and glutamine synthetase: Protective effects following stress in Psychiatry Res. 2019 Aug;281:112544 

Congrats on winning the Jules Angst Award!

Prof. Angst awarding Nadja with the Jules Angst Award

Prof. Angst awarding Nadja with the Jules Angst Award

Last week at the DGBS, Nadja was awarded the Jules Angst Award 2019 for her broad research on bipolar disorder in animal models! She was even awarded by Prof. Angst himself. What a great honor for Nadja! We are very happy and proud that her work is recognized and awarded.

Talking about bipolar disorder

nadjaLogoThis weekend Nadja is going to talk about our different animal models to investigate bipolar disorder at the annual meeting of the German Society for Bipolar Disorder (DGBS) 2019 in Frankfurt. Join her talk “Tiermodelle zur Erforschung der bipolaren Störung” on Saturday morning, 12th Oktober.

Master thesis submitted

Bircan just summitted her master thesis titled “The Effect of Psychiatric Drugs on Glutamine Synthease – an in vitro to in vivo Analysis”. In her study, she investigated the effects of lithium in our glutamine synthetase reporter-mice. Congrats Bircan on this interesting new approach and challenging methods! Thank you for your hard work and for establishing difficult protocols in our lab. After almost one year in our lab, we will definitely miss your company!
We wish you all the best for your future!

Congrats Bircan!

Congrats Bircan

Congrats Stefanie!

Steffi BAStefanie submitted an excellent bachelor thesis about her interesting research on the GDAP1 gene and the effect of nicotine smoking on its expression in the mouse hippocampus. Interestingly, she found an effect of smoking on GDAP1 expression depending on the hippocampus region. We thank you for your endurance and good work establishing the protocols in the lab, Steffi. Well-done!

maternal separation affects both sides

Anna and Ibrahim are interested in the effects of maternal separation on both, pups and dams.

Anna & Ibrahim

Anna & Ibrahim

They are going to present their newest findings at the 14th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry in Vancouver, Canada. If you are interested in their research, come talk to them at their posters Early life stress – the course of its consequences over development (Anna) and The maternal side on mediating effects of early life stress (Ibrahim) at the ‘Childhood & adolescent disorders’ session on June 03rd.