Areas of investigation/research focus
Our group is interested in the pathogenesis of aging-associated and neuropsychiatric disorders and in the development of novel therapeutics for these diseases. Towards this end, we employ mouse models and multidisciplinary experimental approaches that combine pharmacology and genetics with physiological assessments, pathological analyses, genomics and epigenomics, biochemistry, as well as molecular and cell biology. The group is also interested in translating findings from preclinical models to human populations.
Specifically, we have a long-standing interest in mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, which we explore in suitable mouse models (e.g., Ehninger et al., Nat Med 2008; Neuron 2008; Ehninger et al., Mol Psychiatry 2012; Zhou et al., Neuron 2013; Lee et al., Nat Neurosci 2014). Current work in our laboratory is also focused on clarifying the role of key lifespan-regulatory pathways in influencing aging and the pathogenesis of age-related disorders (e.g., Neff et al., J Clin Invest 2013; Xie et al., Nat Commun 2017, see also Bellantuono et al., Nature 2018). We are also interested in addressing if and how age-related, as well as environmentally induced epigenetic changes interact with health and disease outcomes, both in directly exposed individuals, as well as possibly inter- and/or transgenerationally (e.g., Ryan et al., Mol Psychiatry 2017; Henzel et al., Sci Rep 2017; Xie et al., PNAS 2018).