Laboratory of Neurotrophins and Laboratory of Clinical Neurobiology

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Laboratory for Neurotrophins and Laboratory for Clinical Neurobiology

Joint Group Leaders

Prof Rainer Hellweg, M.D.
Prof Golo D Kronenberg, M.D


Silvia Saft, Dr. rer. nat. Leonora Franke, Dr. rer. nat. Helmut Piazena, Ilona Kamenzky

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

  • • Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universität Rostock
  • • 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