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!

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!