The group’s current research aims are to:
- to perform molecular genetic analysis to increase the knowledge and expertise in psychiatric genetics and genomics
- to identify the molecular networks underlying psychiatric disorders
- to continually develop an organization to support psychiatric genetic and stem cell studies with design and planning and experiments.
- to continuously foster new ideas
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are well suited for study of in vitro aspects of patients’ neuronal function and thus may aid to unravel the core pathological processes behind neurodevelopmental symptoms. We have established the required competence and facilities for human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) reprogramming and differentiation, enabling investigation of neuronal cells from patients and healthy controls. Validated iPSCs are differentiated to neural progenitor cells (neural conversion) and regionalized neuronal subtypes, as well as astrocytes and other glial populations under in-house methods. We are also in the process of developing a psychopharmacological screening platform for psychiatric disorders using iPSC-derived neurons.
Our efforts in identifying the polygenic basis of the human brain and neurodevelopmental disorders have resulted in several translational studies published and we aim to perform more deep molecular phenotyping studies.
For the reason of the complex interactions of the brain and immune system and their implications for pathophysiology and treatment, studies on the neuroinflammatory aspects of psychiatric disorders has been an emerging topic, as well. Few articles has already been published, and several ongoing studies are advancing.