Laboratory of Neurobiology was established with professor Torben Moos as a leader. The research group has experienced a fast growth in the past 6 years and currently encompasses these members: Prof. Torben Moos, Assoc. Prof. Jacek Lichota, Assist. Prof. Louiza Bohn Thomsen, postdoc Tina Skjørringe, PhD student Annette Burkhart, PhD student Maj Schneider Thomsen, PhD student Kasper Bendix Johnsen, research assistant Lene Lundgaard Donovan, master students Nanna Humle, Anne Mørkholt, Lisa Routhe. Technicians: Merete Fredsgaard, Hanne Krone Nielsen.
The current research topics are separated in smaller entities with the following focus areas (group members mentioned in brackets):
The blood-brain barrier in health and disease
1) The cell biology of the blood-brain barrier and the neurovascular unit.
Purpose: To understand the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and to develop in vitro assays to study the differentiation of brain capillaries, astrocytes and pericytes (PI: Louiza Bohn Thomsen, with Annette Burkhart Larsen, Maj Schneider Thomsen and Torben Moos).
2) Targeted therapy at the blood-brain barrier
Purpose: To identify targets at the brain endothelial that allow targeted therapy leading to uptake and transport within brain capillary endothelial cells (PI: Torben Moos, with Annette Burkhart and Kasper Bendix Johnsen).
3) Nanoparticle transport at the blood-brain barrier
Purpose: To develop nanocarrier systems that enable nanoparticle transport across the blood-brain barrier.
Strategies denote biodegradable carriers designed to release their cargo purposely within the neurovascular unit (PI: Torben Moos, with Maj Schneider Thomsen and Kasper Bendix Johnsen) or carriers made magnetic to allow their drag through the blood-brain barrier using and external magnet (PI: Louiza Bohn Thomsen, with Torben Moos)
Brain iron homeostasis
1) The role of iron in normal brain function and neurodegeneration
Purpose: To map the expression of molecules related to the uptake, transport and export of iron in the healthy brain, and to understand the impact of iron for oxidative stress formation leading to neuronal cell stress and damage using in vitro primary culture models, and in vivo animal models (PI: Torben Moos, with Anne Mørkholt and Lisa Routhe).
2) The significance of developmental iron-deficiency for brain function
Purpose: To identify changes in gene and protein expression patterns, lipid
formation, and behavior related to changes in available iron for the developing
fetal brain (PI: Torben Moos, with Tina Skjørringe).
The vascular component in brain tumors
1) Purpose: To understand the impact of angiogenesis and vessel formation in brain tumors (PI: Louiza Bohn Thomsen, with Nanna Humle and Torben Moos).
Assoc. Prof. Jacek Lichota (research assistant Lene Lundgaard Donovan, technician: Merete Fredsgaard)
1) Epigenetic consequences of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Purpose: To identify genes regulated by ECT and to characterize their epigenetic status. Understanding of changes in the epigenetic regulation of the genes sensitive to ECT will enable a new treatment design that can be pharmacologically assisted as well as will open a possibility for new drug design (PI: Jacek Lichota).
2) Epigenetic regulation of nicotine receptors
Purpose: Nicotine receptors are likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia therefore it is of high interest to decipher the epigenetic regulation of the genes coding for nicotine receptors, especially alpha 7 (Chrna7) PI: Jacek Lichota, Lene Lundgaard Donovan).
3) Epigenetics of depression
Purpose: A rat chronic mild stress model (CMS) is used to delineate and characterize epigenetic changes occurring on gene promoters important for pathophysiology of depression. This knowledge will be used in the search for new drugs PI: Jacek Lichota).