News articles

Major initiative in understanding synaptic basis of neuropsychiatric disease

20 December 2013

Prof James Rothman

James Rothman (Nobel Prize 2013) will shortly establish a laboratory at the Institute of Neurology under the Yale-UCL collaboration as part of a major initiative to understand the synaptic basis of neuropsychiatric disease. His discovery of the molecular machinery underlying neurotransmitter release from synaptic vesicles opens a new window on the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric diseases, mental health, migraine, epilepsy and movement disorders. He will be joined by James Jepson from Thomas Jefferson University, who will establish a laboratory using fruit flies to model neuropsychiatric diseases. In parallel, Dennis Kaetzel (Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow, UCL and Oxford) is applying the latest optogenetic and chemical-genetic methods to understand the circuit basis of schizophrenia. Institute researcher Dimitri Kullmann says, "These developments provide an important bridge from human genetics to circuit dysfunction, and promise to accelerate the pace of discovery of neurological and neuropsychiatric disease mechanisms at Queen Square".     

Professor Michael Hanna, Director of UCL Institute of Neurology said "This is a major new development starting in early 2014 that will complement major programmes in genetics cellular biology, functional imaging and computational neuroscience at IoN, and lead to better understanding and ultimately treatments for patients with neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases. We are delighted to welcome James Jepson and Jim Rothman (Nobel Laureate 2013) to Queen Square"

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