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Spanagel group

Principal investigator:
Abteilung für Psychopharmakologie
Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit
68159 Mannheim


General research interests and goals:

The Institute of Psychopharmacology focuses on animal-experimental addiction research and has implemented several translational components. Furthermore, we are using in silico approaches to make disease and treatment predictions. Since addictive behavior is often associated with anxiety and affective disorders in the origin and over the lifetime course, these comorbidities are also taken into account.
We are studying alcohol/drug use and the development of alcohol/substance use disorders across life span in animal models and are now in a position to make some important conclusions about disease progression and severity and diagnostic markers for the human situation in a gender-specific manner.
Through massive gene expression profiling and pathway analyses along with cell-type specific neuroanatomic mapping we are defining neurochemical and neuroanatomical substrates critically involved in several aspects of compulsive drug use and behaviour. For functional validation of our findings we use our newly developed DSM-IV/V-based animal models for alcohol and cocaine addiction that allow us also to test new medications. Finally, we have developed unique in in silico-tools that allow us to make treatment predictions without experimental efforts and to push drug repurposing to a novel level.

Current group members:

PostDocs: Dr. Hamid Noori / Johanna Koltermann
PhD students: Laura Hölters / Anastasia Olevska / Laura Broccoli

Key publications:

Hirth N, Meinhardt MW, Noori HR, Uhrig S, Broccoli L, Perreau-Lenz S, Sommer WH, Spanagel R, Hansson AC equal contribution (2016) Convergent evidence from alcohol dependent humans and rats for a hyperdopaminergic state in protracted abstinence Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:3024-29 .
Spanagel R, Noori HR, Heilig M (2014) Stress and alcohol interactions: meta-analyses on animal studies and clinical significance, 2014 Trends Neurosci. 10.1016/j.tins.2014.02.006 .
Noori HR, Helinski S, Spanagel R (2014) Cluster and meta-analyses on factors influencing stress-induced alcohol drinking and relapse in rodents Addict. Biol. 19:225-232 .
Brand I, Fliegel S, Spanagel R, Noori HR (2013) Global Ethanol-Induced Enhancements of the Monoaminergic Neurotransmission: A Meta-Analysis Alcohol Clin Exp Res 37(12):2048-2057 .
Noori HR, Spanagel R, Hansson A (2012) Neurocircuitry for Modeling Drug Effects Addict Biol 17(5):827-864 .