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WG Signal Transduction

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Molecular mechanisms of psychiatric diseases, cell-based assay technologies, drug repurposing screening mouse models


Dr. rer. nat. Michael Wehr 

German Version

Description of Research:

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder affecting about 1% of the worldwide population and is considered to be a neurodevelopmental disorder with a high polygenic risk profile in the individual patient. The disease is characterised by positive symptoms (e.g. delusions, hallucinations, disorganised speech), negative symptoms (e.g. lack of motivation, social withdrawal, flat affect) and cognitive deficits (e.g. poor working memory, deficits in attention, processing speed and function). Dr Wehr and his team use molecular, biochemical and cell biology techniques and mouse models to investigate how molecular mechanisms are altered by schizophrenia candidate risk genes, i.e. they analyse the impact of selected schizophrenia risk genes on changes in signalling pathway activities and synaptic plasticity. In addition, they establish cell-based assays to perform drug repurposing screens (i.e. the repurposing of approved drugs for new disease indications) to identify potential new treatment options for schizophrenia.

Research details

Current projects:

  • Understanding molecular mechanisms of selected schizophrenia risk genes in cell culture and mouse models
  • Development of cell-based assays for the profiling of receptor activities
  • Development of phenotypic assays to identify genetic and chemical modulators of neuropsychiatric signaling pathways



PD. Dr. Joachim Kremerskothen, Department of Molecular Nephrology, University Hospital Münster, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

Team members:

Jan Wintgens, M.Sc. (Doktorand, cand. biol.)
Xiao Ma, M.Sc. (Doktorand, cand. hum. biol.)
Madalina Hostiuc (Doktorand, cand. med.)

Barbara Meisel (technische Angestellte, BTA)