Head: PD Dr. rer. nat. Peter Zill
Despite intensive efforts in biological psychiatry, the specific aetiology of psychiatric disorders is still not fully understood. There is now great evidence that epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. The term epigenetics describes dynamic regulation of gene expression, mediated through modifications of DNA and the histones, by non-mutagenic mechanisms, as e.g. methylation, acetylation and phosphorylation, but also affected by small RNAs, as mircro RNA (RNA interferences). Epigenetic modifications often occur in response to environmental influences and represent therefore strong mediators in the ethiology of psychiatric disorders.
The main aims of our group are the analysis and identification of altered epigenetic, as well as their interacting genetic and neurobiological mechanisms as underlying causes in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders, especially in schizophrenia, affective disorders and addictive disorders. We perform global, as well as gene specific investigations combining molecular, biochemical, pharmacological and behavioral approaches in human studies. Our goal is the identification of risk- and susceptibility factors for psychiatric disorders as probable biomarkers and to provide a better understanding of the underlying causal biological mechanisms.
- Epigenetic alterations in schizophrenic and depressive patients: influence of psychopharmacological treatment.
- Relation and long term effects between psychotherapy in female patients with borderline personality disorders or chronic depression and biological (Oxytocin), genetic and epigenetic parameters.
- Analysis of global and gene specific DNA-Methylation in alcohol dependent patients during detoxification and withdrawal.
Here you can find an overview of the most important publications of our department
Sarah Ruhdorfer (Doktorand, cand. med.)
- Willhelm Bergmann (Doktorand, cand. med.)
- Lorena Werz (Doktorand, cand. med.)
- Anja Gemkow (Doktorand, cand. med.)
- Karoline Pömp (Doktorand, cand. med.)
- Selina Kornbichler (Doktorand, cand. med.)
- Sylvia de Jonge (technische Angestellte, BTA)
- Prof. Ulrich Preuß, Vitos Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, 35745 Herborn
- Prof. Vanessa Nieratschker, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Molekulare Psychiatrie, 72076 Tübingen
- Dr. Josef Frank, ZI Mannheim, Genetische Epidemiologie in der Psychiatrie, 68159 Mannheim
- Dr. Jasminka Stefulj, Institute Rudjer Boskovic, Department of Molecular Biology, Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, Zagreb, Croatia
- Dr. Sofia Blazevic, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
- Prof. Victor Karpyak, Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
- Prof. Dr. Joel Gelernter, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA