Dr. Nora Abrous
The discovery that new neurons (neurogenesis) are generated in the adult brain of mammals, including man, has attracted strong interest from the scientific community. Indeed, adult neurogenesis takes place in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation. This vast region, which allows the formation of temporal-spatial memories and is involved in mood regulation, receives insults related to aging as well as exposure to stress. Our team is interested in the role of neurogenesis in various hippocampal functions (memory and mood) and in the pathophysiology of the hippocampus that can be induced during development or during aging. We perform longitudinal studies, from embryonic to senescent stages, taking individual differences into account in order to understand the role of these new neurons in hippocampal functions. We also study the effects of etiological factors such as prenatal stress that can induce pathological memories.
Within the REACT NSC project we seek to investigate the impact of the newborn neurons generated after traumatic brain injury on neuronal properties, brain functioning and behavior.
In order to accomplish our scientific aims we use multidisciplinary approaches ranging from cellular and molecular biology (viral production and development of transgenic models) to imaging, electrophysiology, use of Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) for new-neuron activity manipulation and behavior studies.