My research comprises two parallel lines:
On one side, I am interested in understanding the serotonergic system's involvement in modulating the neural substrates implicated in executive function. Emphasis is on the serotonin 2A receptor's role in prefrontal cortex function through interaction with other receptor and neurotransmitter systems. By applying neuronal tracing, receptor autoradiography, intracellular pathway analyses, brain mapping of neuronal and pathway activation by c-Fos stereological quantification, gene expression analyses and protein levels measurements in animal models, our aim is to elucidate how alterations in this receptor may be involved in the cognitive manifestations associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Our focus is mainly on dopamine related disorders, like addiction, schizophrenia and Parkinson.
On the other side, we conduct studies on human samples from our Brain Bank, in order to find and validate disease-specific biological markers that may be potential candidates as biomarkers for Parkinson and other parkinsonism. Our aim is to provide clinicians with a disease-specific biomarker panel valid for use in the clinics. We believe that access to such a panel would be a strong tool for use in clinical trials, as well as provide clinicians with a much needed instrument for early differential diagnosis between Parkinson Disease from Multiple System Atrophy and other Parkinsonism. Our studies comprise biochemical, genetic, epigenomic and proteomic approaches with focus on neuroinflammatory and neurotrophic related processes.