Mental and degenerative diseases are highly disabling central nervous system disorders. As treatment options are very limited there is a strong requirement to deepen our understanding of the underlying pathophysiology to achieve better treatment, and ultimately, prevention of these devastating conditions.
An increasing body of evidence indicates that the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric and -degenerative disorders may be linked to perturbation of neurodevelopmental processes. But how exactly does neurodevelopment affect disease development in later life? Does neurodevelopment determine the individual’s disease susceptibility and resilience? Does the life-long activity of neurodevelopmental processes affect onset of disease? Do neuropsychiatric and –degenerative disease genes have a developmental function?
The RTG aims to further the understanding of the complex interplay between neurodevelopment and adult-onset CNS diseases through intensive research and training measures with the ultimate goal to provide the scientific basis for the development of new therapeutic concepts.
Understanding the impact of neurodevelopment on health and disease development in later life warrants a fresh interdisciplinary approach in research and education. In the RTG, we combine the complimentary expertise of basic and clinical neuroscientists in the biology of CNS development, genetics of CNS disorders, and disease modeling and will cross traditional research boundaries between developmental biology and the biology of adult-onset CNS diseases. We will collaboratively train young scientists and supervise research projects that specifically focus on the life-long function of developmental and disease-associated genes and pathways in physiology and disease. Our research and training program strongly profits from the excellent research infrastructures and training opportunities provided by the FAU and the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research of the University Hospital Erlangen, and from the know-how and close collaborations with the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Network (ForIPS).