Genes Environment and Behaviour Group
Our group is up for the challenge of understanding the brain to help find better treatments for people affected by mental health conditions. We study neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. Our aim is to identify pathogenic mechanisms and new therapeutic targets by investigating these conditions on the molecular, cellular and behavioural level.
About our research
Our research includes models of specific neurological conditions (e.g. Huntington’s disease and other dementias) and psychiatric disorders, including, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders. We investigate behavioural, cellular and molecular levels in order to identify pathogenic mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets.
Current projects aim to understand how environmental and lifestyle factors (e.g. stress) directly and indirectly impact behaviour, cognition and physiology via molecular and cellular changes in the brain as well as in periphery (e.g. gut microbiota). Along with exploring the mechanisms driving the beneficial effects of physical exercise our projects aim to identify new targets for future therapies.
- Huntington’s disease
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Gene-environment interactions
- Synaptic plasticity
- Rodent behavioural studies
- Pharmacological and environmental interventions
- Do the beneficial effects of exercise involve miRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression?
- Gene-environment interactions in the regulation of cellular plasticity, cognitive function and behaviour
- Modulating metals homeostasis to treat neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders
- Studying gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Therapeutic approaches to dementia and depression in Huntington’s disease
- Carey Wilson
- James Gattuso
- Alex Fraser
- Nina Kleditzsch
- Mees, I., Li, S., Tran, H., Ang, C.-S., Williamson, N.A., Hannan, A.J. and Renoir, T. (2022). Phosphoproteomic dysregulation in Huntington’s disease mice is rescued by environmental enrichment. Brain Communications, 4(6). doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcac305.
- Volkan Uzungil, Tran, H., Aitken, C., Wilson, C., Opazo, C., Li, S., Payet, J.M., Mawal, C.H., Bush, A.I., Hale, M.W., Hannan, A.J. and Thibault Renoir (2022). Novel Antidepressant-Like Properties of the Iron Chelator Deferiprone in a Mouse Model of Depression. Neurotherapeutics, 19(5), pp.1662–1685. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-022-01257-0.
- Wilson, C., Rogers, J., Chen, F., Li, S., Adlard, P.A., Hannan, A.J. and Thibault Renoir (2021). Exercise ameliorates aberrant synaptic plasticity without enhancing adult-born cell survival in the hippocampus of serotonin transporter knockout mice. Brain Structure & Function, 226(6), pp.1991–1999. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-021-02283-y.
- Dubois, C., Kong, G., Tran, H., Li, S., Pang, T.Y., Hannan, A.J. and Thibault Renoir (2021). Small Non-coding RNAs Are Dysregulated in Huntington’s Disease Transgenic Mice Independently of the Therapeutic Effects of an Environmental Intervention. Molecular Neurobiology, 58(7), pp.3308–3318. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-021-02342-9.
- Wilson, C., Li, S., Hannan, A.J. and Renoir, T. (2020). Antidepressant-like effects of ketamine in a mouse model of serotonergic dysfunction. Neuropharmacology, 168, p.107998. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2020.107998.