Neurobiology of Stress Resilience
Stress-associated diseases, with depression leading the way, affect the quality of life of more than a billion people worldwide. Today, it is undisputed that environmental factors such as acute traumatic experiences or chronic stress contribute significantly to the development of depression. On the other hand, it is still largely unknown how specific genetic variants or environmental factors impact on the vulnerability or resilience of an individual to environmental challenges.
The main focus of this research group is to study the impact of acute and chronic stress on the body during different developmental stages. Specifically, we are interested in the behavioral, neuroendocrine and molecular basis of individual stress vulnerability and resilience.
To this end, we use a broad spectrum of approaches, ranging from different acute or chronic stress models in transgenic or knockout animals to pharmacological or optogenetic manipulations. By combining state-of-the-art behavioral, neuroendocrine and molecular readouts, we aim to develop novel pharmacological or genetic approaches to modulate, reverse or even prevent individual stress vulnerability.