Research topics of the Department of Molecular Embryology:
Current research of the department is located in the field of neurodevelopmental biology comprising neuroscience, molecular cell research and regenerative medicine, as well as epigenetics and functional genomics. The department houses several work groups, each with a different research focus. A common aim is to understand functions of various signaling molecules and growth factors in the central and peripheral nervous system. Further interests lie on the development of specific structures of the central nervous system, such as hippocampus, cerebral cortex, cerebellum, brain stem and spinal cord.
One special focus is on the development of the neural tube, neural crest and its derivatives. Another topic is the investigation of growth factors and their role in Parkinson‘s disease, which is of high biomedical relevance.
Besides neurodegenerative diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders are also of interest to the department. Here, we want to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms in typical and atypical Rett syndrome as an autism spectrum disorder.
Furthermore, we are examining the function of methyltransferases as epigenetic modificators in the development on the central nervous system. In this context, we are specifically interested in the development of the neural tube, cerebellum, cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Another aim is to understand the role of epigenetic modificators on neuronal activity of the hippocampus, modulating learning and memory formation capacity.