Laboratory of Translational Research in Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Life experiences and environmental conditions are strong determinants of brain health in humans. Long-term exposure to adverse conditions, such as traumatic experiences or nutritional insults can not only lead to brain diseases in the exposed individuals but such disease susceptibilities may also be transmitted to their offspring. Two important molecular pathways connect environmental exposures to brain disorders; 1) epigenetic factors, such as non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), and 2) metabolic factors. Notably, our previous research showed a causal role for ncRNAs in intergenerational transmission of neuropsychiatric disease risk after early life trauma and a potential role for metabolic pathways in mediating this transmission. Similarly, we found an intriguing protective effect of metabolic disorders in certain neurodegenerative conditions. We now aim to further dissect the liaison between ncRNAs and lipid molecules in the neuropsychiatric sequelae of critical exposures, such as childhood trauma and are committed in the pursuit of finding epigenetic and metabolic strategies to mitigate the development and transmission of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions.
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