We study how sortilins contribute to neuropsychiatric phenotypes in humans and animal models, using molecular neurobiology, genetic analysis, in utero electroporation, and mouse behavioral paradigms.
Neurons of the developing brain respond to the extracellular environment in a polarized manner thereby securing the correct neuronal positioning and connectivity in the adult brain. The precise regulation of these processes during development remains poorly understood, but enable us as adults to think, remember, and perceive reality in a normal manner. Their breakdown, on the other hand, manifests itself as mental disorders. My group is particularly interested in a family of sorting receptors, the sortilins, which appear to have evolutionary conserved roles in the establishment and maintenance of neuronal circuits. Our focus is to determine the role of individual sortilins in distinct neuronal systems and how their dysfunction contributes to the behavioural phenotypes observed in psychiatric patients. To study this, we employ a translational strategy using transgenic animal models, in utero electroporation, confocal microscopy, behavioural and molecular neurobiology in addition to genetic and biochemical analysis of patient samples.
There are currently projects available for Master and PhD students. Please contact Simon Glerup Pedersen directly for more information, if interested.