Molecular neurobiology research group investigates different aspects of gene regulation and signaling in nervous system health and disease.
Research is centered on:
- Activity-dependent transcriptional mechanisms that underlie nervous system function in health and diseases, like psychiatric, cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. Particular focus of these studies is on the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
- Transcriptional dysregulation in Huntington disease.
- Molecular mechanisms of mood and anxiety disorders, focusing on the molecular function of the schizophrenia and Pitt-Hopkins syndrome associated TCF4 gene and the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor encoded by it.
The group is involved in the following WP-s of the CoE project. WP1. Fine-mapping of known genetic associations from published reports (using cell and animal models); WP3. Omics and disease risk estimates (validating novel biomarkers with cellular in vitro and animal in vivo disease models and investigating the underlying mechanisms); WP5. Mitochondrial Medicine - identification of genes and proteins involved in mitochondrial disorders (characterizing the molecular basis of the interactions and function of the genes identified by using molecular and cellular biology techniques); WP7. Identification of translational markers for neuropsychiatric disorders (studying novel loci related to neuronal plasticity and schizophrenia by using using cell and animal models); WP8 Communication, training and capacity building.
Research team: Tõnis Timmusk, PhD, professor, head of the research team; Kaia Palm, PhD, associate professor; researchers Mari Palgi, PhD; Mari Sepp, PhD; Kaur Jaanson, PhD; Indrek Koppel, PhD; PhD students Kaja Kannike, Kristi Luberg, Hanna Vihma, Jürgen Tuvikene, Laura Tamberg, Kati Taal, Margus Planken.
Link to the web