Genetics, epigenetics and neural circuits of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders
Epidemiological studies suggest a high degree of heritability for neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition, environmental factors such as the exposure to stressful life events impinge on the disease risk. Stress and a maladaptive stress response in combination with a genetic predisposition are able to trigger the precipitation of various neuropsychiatric disorders. Our goal is to determine genetic risk factors and their interaction with environmental exposures. In addition, we aim at dissecting epigenetic mechanisms and neural circuits underlying the etiology and pathophysiology of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. These endeavors are of paramount importance for the future development of informative diagnoses and causal therapies.