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!

New paper out about cigarette smoke and GDAP1

cigarettes-2841785_1920In our new paper Cigarette smoke exposure has region-specific effects on GDAP1 expression in mouse hippocampus Nadja, Anna and Stefanie investigated whether cigarette smoke might also affect GDAP1 expression, a gene previously associated with alcohol addiction. Thanks to a fruitful collaboration with the Pharmacology and Toxicology department as well as the department of Experimental Pneumology at the Ruhr-University Bochum, we found that GDAP1 might even be a marker for substance use in general! Find out more about this study here.

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