Our Department is composed of six research Units. It aims at elucidating the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development, plasticity, and pathogenesis of sensory circuits as well as cognitive functions in the mammalian brain. For this, we are studying brain functions and behavior on multiple scales: from the structure/function of synaptic proteins, to intra- and interneuronal information processing to the identification of genetic and epigenetic factors influencing circuit function. The fundamental research performed in the Department will provide a better understanding of the defective processes in neurological and psychiatric disorders and the necessary knowledge for the development of therapeutic approaches.
- We aim to understand the molecular, cellular, and network mechanisms that shape dynamic connectivity within the brain and result in learning, memory, sensory perception, social communication and cognition.
- We aim to understand how genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors individually and collectively shape dynamic brain connectivity, and result in neurological/psychiatric disorders.
- We aim to develop pharmacological and genetic tools for preventing/alleviating/curing peripheral and central neuronal circuit deficits.
- We aim to understand the influence of the microbiome on the human central nervous system.
The principal expertise of the Department
Questions addressed in the Department are related to how mechanical, biochemical and electrical signals are produced and stored in neurons and neuronal networks to create and represent information. We use genetic, molecular, cellular, and behavioural strategies to understand the fundamental principles of brain function and their alteration in brain disease.