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Laboratory of Neurotrophins and Laboratory of Clinical Neurobiology

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Group Leader

Prof. Dr. med. Rainer Hellweg

Managing senior physician, Head of elective psychiatric services, Head of research division Experimental and Molecular Psychiatry

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Team

Silvia Saft
Dr. rer. nat. Friederike Klempin
Dr. rer. nat. Leonora Franke
Dr. rer. nat. Helmut Piazena

Research - Current Direction

Translational and Clinical Research

  • Studies in human subjects on the role of neurotrophic factors (in particular "nerve growth factor" [NGF], "brain-derived neurotrophic factor"[BDNF], and "neurotrophin-3" [NT3]) in aging and neurodegenerative disease, inflammatory diseases, major psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression, schizophrenia, addiction)
  • Serotonergic mechanisms in psychiatric disorders – Investigations in thrombocytes
  • Central and peripheral serotonin transporters – in-vivo measurements in brain and ex-vivo measurements in thrombocytes
  • Circadian rhythms and photobiology – Effects of light on melatonin secretion and wellbeing
  • Poststroke depression
  • Translational neuroimaging

Experimental Research

  • Animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders (depression, stress models, Alzheimer's disease models) – neuroprotective mechanisms of NGF and BDNF, cellular plasticity and neurogenesis
  • Depression in injury models (folate deficiency, stroke, chronic hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation)
  • Antidepressants and neuroprotection

Selected Collaborations

  • Molecular Biology of Peptide Hormones, Max-Delbrück Centrum für Molekulare Medizin, Berlin-Buch
  • Psychiatric Animal Models, Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit, Mannheim
  • Cellular Neurosciences, Max-Delbrück Centrum für Molekulare Medizin, Berlin-Buch
  • Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie und Abteilung für Experimentelle Neurologie, Charité CCM
  • Medizinische Klinik m.S. Psychosomatik, Charité CCM
  • Medizinische Klinik m.S. Kardiologie und Angiologie - Schlaftherapie, Charité CCM
  • Genomics of Regeneration, Center for Regenerative Therapies, Dresden
  • Institute of General Practice, Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main