We are interested in understanding the organism-wide consequences of stress, and how the complex stress-response leads to changes in behavior and increases the risk for neuropsychiatric disease. We use mice as a model organism to capture stress-induced changes on the molecular as well as behavioral level. We focus on the impact of stress on the CNS, but also on it’s effects on the germline.
In the CNS, we are trying to dissect the individual stress-induced signals (stress modulators) that lead to changes in gene expression in various brain regions. We use optogenetic, transcriptomic, pharmacologic, epigenetic and behavioral approaches to understand behavior and molecular changes induced by stress.
Recent findings have revealed that severe stressors can also impact the germline and lead to heritable, epigenetic changes that affect behavior and physiology of the offspring. Our lab is trying to decipher which epigenetic and non-genetic changes can occur in the germline, and how stress-induced signals can induce them in the first place.