Celebrate with us!

Nadja was part of the Global Young Faculty Group ‘Entdecke dein Ruhrpot(t)enzial’. They were interested in activating interest of young people in the Ruhr region for research and industry and therefore produced two movie clips. Premiere of the movies will be on Feb 21st at Unperfekthaus Essen. Let us know and join if you are interested!


what a great year!

We are looking back at a wonderful year with many new people joining our lab and fantastic new projects starting. We want to say thank you for all the fun we’re having, the great ideas we’re sharing and for all the support we’re giving each other! Moreover, we’re thankful for all the great collaboration partners we have. Its a pleasure working together!

We wish you all are having happy Christmas holidays and a great start into 2019! Looking forward to another great, exciting year with the Freundlab!

Poster at SfN!

img-meetingsfnAnna is presenting a poster at the SfN meeting in San Diego. Join her at poster TT21 on Sunday afternoon to learn about our newest findings on early life stress and Otx2.


SyNergy Microglial Meeting in munich

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.

Listen to Dominiks Talk at the DGBS

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!


Summer school in Japan

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.


Meeting the neuroscience Community

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!

New paper!

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!


New lab members!

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!