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Neuro-Epigenetics of Stress and Cognition Research Group

The following people are in this group:

More about this group


Head of Group

Professor Hans Reul


My research group investigates how the organism responds and adapts to stressful events.

Major research interests

  1. The signalling, epigenetic and genomic mechanisms in the brain underlying stress-related learning and memory processes.
  2. The regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis under baseline and stress conditions.
  3. The physiological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of voluntary exercise on stress coping, HPA axis regulation, and anxiety-related and cognitive behaviour.

Expertise

My research group investigates how the organism responds and adapts to stressful events. The emphasis is on how we learn and form memories of emotionally stressful events in our lives so we can respond better if such events should reoccur.

Our research programme addresses the role of signalling, epigenetic and genomic processes in the brain in the consolidation of adaptive behavioural responses and memory. Furthermore, we are investigating the role of adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus in these processes and responses.

Behavioural responses and memory formation are investigated in the forced swim test, Morris water maze learning and contextual fear conditioning. Our neuroanatomical and molecular expertise includes immuno-fluorescence analysis, lentiviral technology (in collaboration with Professor James Uney (UoB)) and state-of-the-art epigenetic methods such as chromatin-immuno-precipitation (nChIP, xChIP), next generation Illumina sequencing and bisulfite sequencing (in collaboration with Dr. Jon Mill, King’s College London).