In our cell culture and biomarker group we are interested in understanding the genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying developmental and affective mental disorders, such as ADHD and bipolar disorder. To investigate this we use human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are derived from skin or blood samples obtained from healthy controls and patients. Excitingly, these iPSCs can then be differentiated into neuronal cells, which are usually very difficult to obtain. We can then study these neurons for differences in aspects such as gene/protein expression, metabolism and calcium signalling, with the aim of understanding disease aetiology and potentially identifying novel drug targets. Additionally, we are investigating peripheral blood-based metabolites and proteins in the search for biomarkers for differential diagnosis, early detection and therapy response.
Furthermore, we are interested in biomarkers of perinatal mental disorders in mother and fathers as well as the impact of parental perinatal mental disorders and their treatment (medication and psychotherapy) on the development of the offspring, with a focus on ADHD and affective disorders.