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Gass / Vollmayr group

Principal investigator:
Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit
J 5
68159 Mannheim

Institut für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
AG Psychiatrische Tiermodelle
Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI)
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
J5, D-68159 Mannheim


General research interests and goals:

Our group has established rat and mouse models for psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. We study the underlying neurobiological mechanisms using the following strategies:
1) Genetic factors. We study genetic models generated by inbreeding or mutagenesis. These animals develop disease-like syndromes during development or in adulthood, or have a high predisposition for disease-like behaviors.
2) Environmental factors. Based on the fact that stressful life events can trigger psychiatric diseases we use acute and chronic uncontrollable stress to induce disease-like behaviors.
3) Using both aforementioned factors in combination, we investigate the role of gene x environment interactions for the development of psychiatric disorders.



Current group members:

PostDocs: Dr. rer. nat. Helene Richter
Technical assistants: Katja Lankisch / Cathrin Huber

Key publications:

Mallien AS, Palme R, Richetto J, Muzzillo C, Richter SH, Vogt MA, Riva MA, Vollmayr B, Gass P (2016) Daily exposure to a touchscreen-paradigm and associated food restriction evokes an increase in adrenocortical and neural activity in mice Hormones and Behavior 81: 97-105 .
Weber T, Vogt MA, Gartside SE, Berger S, Lujan R, Lau T, Herrmann E, Sprengel R, Bartsch D, Gass P (2015) Adult AMPA GLUA1 receptor subunit loss in 5-HT neurons results in a specific anxiety-phenotype with evidence for dysregulation of 5-HT neuronal activity Neuropsychopharmacology 40:1471-1484 .
(2014) Touchscreen-paradigm for mice reveals cross-species evidence for an antagonistic relationship of cognitive flexibility and stability Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 8: 154 .
Richter SH, Sartorius A, Gass P, Vollmayr B (2014) A matter of timing: harm reduction in learned helplessness Behavioral and Brain Functions 10: 41 (2014), eCollection .
Richter SH, Zeuch B, Riva MA, Gass P, Vollmayr B (2013) Environmental enrichment ameliorates depressive-like symptoms in young rats bred for learned helplessness Behavioural Brain Research 252: 287-292 .