The aim of the Neurobiology Group is to study the effects of environmental hazards on brain disorders and diseases.
Environmental factors are risk factors for brain disorders
Brain disorders encompass neurological (i.e.: Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorders, chronic pain, epilepsy) and neuropsychiatric (i.e.: depression, anxiety, affective disorders) conditions and diseases. Most of them are multifactorial with interplay between environmental and genetic factors. One cellular mechanism underlying the link between environmental and genetic factors is epigenetic mechanisms.
What is epigenetics in one sentence?
Epigenetics are the mechanisms affecting the expression of genes without modifying the DNA sequence, and they are influenced by environmental factors.
Why do we study environmental factors with a focus on neuro-epigenetics?
While there is a growing body of evidence that neuroepigenetic mechanisms are involved in brain diseases and mental health, the mechanisms are not well understood. It is also less understood how environmental hazards affect neuroepigenetics, and how environmental hazards are involved in the on-set of brain disorders. Therefore, further investigations are needed to find and understand when and how the switch of healthy brain cells to pathological cells leads to brain disorders and diseases.
In other terms, if we can identify which environmental factors (toxins, pesticides, plastics, etc.) and how they can start, participate, or precipitate brain disorders/diseases, we will be able to provide advice related to the environmental factors pausing a risk for our brain health, and understanding the etiology and mechanisms of the brain disorders/diseases studied.
How are we investigating the effects of environmental hazards on brain functions?
The goal of our group is to investigate the effects of environmental hazards on the epigenetics of brain disorders and diseases using various methods such as cell culture, biochemistry and immunofluorescence, epigenetic editing with CRISPR-dCas9, epigenomics, and proteomics, in vitro electrophysiology, and rodent animal model and behaviors.
Do you want to collaborate?
We love collaboration and sharing scientific research. We are always happy to discuss science with anyone, and to build collaborative research projects to work together complementing our skillsets.
I am not a scientist but would like to science, can I temporarily join you in your research group?
We believe science is for all. Yes, ALL! If you are 18+ year olds* and wish to join us for an internship, as a scientist visitor, as a science enthusiast, as a patient group, or as someone who wants to have lab experience for their personal knowledge or work (e.g.: you are working on a novel where the main character is a neuroscientist working in a lab and you want to experience it?), etc, contact us! No prior lab or scientific skills are needed, we will train you and you will participate in our research projects.
*Sorry we said ALL yet restricting our lab access, but we are currently not allowed to have people under 18-year-olds in our labs.