Cellular and Behavioural Neuroscience

Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory

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Our research focuses on prenatal risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders. We use rodent models to examine how immune activation, stress or drug exposure during fetal life might have persistent effects on brain development even into adulthood. We measure the impact of these exposures on brain and behaviour using behavioural phenotyping, in-vivo MRI and analysis of gene and protein expression in brain tissue. Our work has particular relevance to autism, psychosis and related disorders.

Facilities

Projects of Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory


Neural Dysfunction Research Laboratory

Established in 2008, this laboratory focuses on the identifications of cellular and molecular neuropathological mechanisms in relation to the pathogeneses of psychiatric disorders. The laboratory provides facilities for cellular culture, proteomics, pharmacological, and toxicological studies. The current research areas include: i) Synaptic and dentritic abnormalities in depression and dementia; ii) Endothelial and astrocytic links in the development of vascular dementia; and iii) The roles of apoptosis and prenatal infection in neurodevelopmental disorders. The ultimate aims of this laboratory are to identify upstream and early pathological events that could benefit the eventual development of preventative and meaningful therapeutic strategies.

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Neuroimaging Research Laboratory

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We use MRI to help establish the brain basis of neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and Psychosis. Brain structure and function is analysed before and after treatment using advanced neuroimaging computational routines. The aim is to provide fresh insights into cause and outcome in these challenging disorders and establish new targets for treatment.