Our research is organized according to four different lines:
Neurodegeneration and -inflammation play a major role in a number of diseases thereby affecting the lives of millions of patients. By applying state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) acquisition we focus on early detection and better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental and mood disorders. Over recent years we have built-up expertise in Parkinson's, Huntington's, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and depression research.
The research interest also extends to neuro-regeneration including adult neurogenesis and stem cell research.
Neuroplasticity is extensively studied in songbirds as superior model for critical period, seasonal and hormone driven neuroplasticity. Songbirds are also studied for their excellent auditory processing, learning and memory skills using the same imaging tools.
Cell-type specific neuromodulation with optogenetics and chemogenetics in rodents is used a) as a tool to understand neural networks and b) as a mean for pre-clinical rehabilitation studies. Moreover, multimodal imaging is utilized as a readout by combining MRI with electrophysiology and optical imaging techniques.
The technical MRI group is an interdisciplinary team of engineers and physicists bridging the gap between newly developed MRI techniques and their applicability towards in vivo neuroimaging.
The team provides the lab with a portfolio of practical imaging techniques all the way from state-of-the-art acquisition up to reliable and robust conclusions based on statistical grounds.