RP1 Experimental Neurobiology

Research of Neurobiology of Ageing, Addictions and Serious Mental Disorders (NESTAR)

Head of the department
Prof. Saak Viktor Ovsepian, M.Sc., M.D., Ph.D.
Bc. Jitka Jechová (coordinator)
telephone:(+420) 283 088 243


The Department of Experimental Neurobiology (or research programme 1, RP1) is an integral part of the National Institute of Mental Health, Czech Republic. It is a modern, multidisciplinary and international research organisation, which amalgamates six large groups comprised of senior and junior investigators, postgraduate and undergraduate students alongside with an efficient team of admin support. The department maintains a highly dynamic and inquisitive environment and fosters a spirit of excellence and collaborative research between biologists, psychologists, physicists, biochemists, neuroscientists, programmers and medical doctors.

It comprises state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with cutting edge instrumentation and tools compatible with a wide range of biomedical research. Given the aim of elucidating the molecular and cellular basis of brain aging, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disease, the portfolio of RP1 includes research facilities for cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, neurophysiological and pharmacological research, as well as behavioural studies. It also contains modern histology and immunohistochemistry units equipped with top of the range epifluorescence and confocal imaging systems, as well as modern tissue culture and viral research laboratories.

Investigation involving experimental animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia and a range of other models of neuropsychiatric disease is a major part of ongoing projects, supported by a modern bio-resources unit, where animal models are generated and maintained. The functional neurophysiological readouts from single neurons and population activity profiles from neuronal networks are routinely acquired in animals representing different physiological contexts and behavioural states. Combined with optogenetic stimulation and calcium imaging, which are currently under development in RP1, these measurements enable the elucidation of changes in brain activity affected by neurological and psychiatric disease. In parallel, behavioural tests such as the Morris water maze, fear conditioning and open field arenas are applied for real-time monitoring of animal behaviour relative to altered neuronal processes.

The specific nature and interdisciplinary stance of neurobiological research applied here involve the coordinated efforts of a large team of researchers and managers, to improve the understanding and management of brain and mind disorders, and to facilitate public awareness and acceptance of issues related to psychiatric disease. As a vibrant and progressive research organization, RP1 promotes quality and creativity, to enhance discovery alongside medical translation bolstered by its strong commitment to teaching and collaborations on both a national and international scale. 

Neuropsychiatric research is going through very exciting times and the Department of Experimental Neurobiology is an inspiring place to be. We are looking for talented researchers and neuroscience enthusiasts to join our strong team, to make an impact and bring knowledge plus understanding to the pain and suffering inflicted by neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease. For all enquiries related to research and collaboration possibilities, please contact Ms. Jechova (jitka.jechova@nudz.cz).  

RP1 administration team 


Science Trends: When Brain Bleeds Glutamate: A New Perspective On Alzheimer’s Disease (https://sciencetrends.com/when-brain-bleeds-glutamate-a-new-perspective-on-alzheimers-disease/)

The Irish Times: Searching for Alzheimer clues inside the brains cells as well as out (https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/searching-for-alzheimer-clues-inside-the-brains-cells-as-well-as-out-1.3610180)

Science Trends: Pain Relief With Interference shRNA Proves Viable (https://sciencetrends.com/pain-relief-interference-shrna-proves-viable/)


OVSEPIAN, SV., O'LEARY, V.B.Can arginase inhibitors be the answer to therapeutic challenges in Alzheimer's disease? Neurotherapeutics. 2018 Sep 21. doi: 10.1007/s13311-018-0668-6. IF 6.032

NIKOLAIT., ŠTĚPÁNKOVÁH., KOPEČEKM., ŠULCZ., VYHNÁLEK, M., BEZDÍČEKO. The uniform data set, Czech version: normative data in older adults from an international perspective. Journal of Alzheimer´s Disease. 2018, 61(3). doi: 10.3233/JAD-170595. IF 3.476.

HROMÁDKOVÁL., KUPCIK, R., VAJRYCHOVA, M., PRIKRYL, P., CHARVATOVA, A., JANKOVICOVA, B., ŘÍPOVÁD., BILKOVA, Z., SLOVAKOVA, M. Kinase-loaded magnetic beads for sequential in vitro phosphorylation of peptides and proteins. Analyst. 2018, 143(2). doi: 10.1039/c7an01508a. IF 3.864.

OVSEPIAN S.V., O'LEARY V.B., AYVAZYAN, N.M., AL-SABI, A., NTZIACHRISTOS, V., DOLLY, J.O. Neurobilogy and therapeutic applications of neurotoxins targeting transmitter realase. Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Aug 25. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2018.08.016.  IF 11.131.

KORÁBEČNÝJ., NEPOVIMOVA, E., CIKÁNKOVÁ, T., ŠPILOVSKÁK., VASKOVA, L., MEZEIOVÁE., KUČAK., HROUDOVÁ, J. Newly developed drugs for Alzheimer’s disease in relation to energy metabolism, cholinergic and monoaminergic neurotransmission. Neuroscience. 2018, 370. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.06.034. IF 3.382.

UTTLL., PETRÁSEKT., SENGUL, H., SVOJANOVSKA, M., LOBELLOVA, V., VALEŠK., RADOSTOVA, D., TSENOVG., KUBOVA, H., MIKULECKA, A., SVOBODA, J., STUCHLÍKA. Chronic MK-801 Application in Adolescence and Early Adulthood: A Spatial Working Memory Deficit in Adult Long-Evans Rats But No Changes in the Hippocampal NMDA Receptor Subunits. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2018, 9. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00042. IF 3.831.

HEPNAROVA, V., KORÁBEČNÝJ., MATOUSKOVA, L., JOST, P., MUCKOVA, L., HRABINOVA, M., VYKOUKALOVA, N., KERHARTOVA, M., KUCERA, T., DOLEZAL, R., NEPOVIMOVA, E., ŠPILOVSKÁK., MEZEIOVÁE., PHAM, NL., JUN, D., STAUD, F., KAPINGD., KUČAK., SOUKUPO. The concept of hybrid molecules of tacrine and benzyl quinolone carboxylic acid (BQCA) as multifunctional agents for Alzheimer's disase. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2018, 150. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.02.083. IF 4.816.

OLEJNÍKOVÁL., POLIDAROVÁ, L., BEHULIAK, M., SLÁDEK, M., SUMOVÁ, A. Circadian alignment in a foster mother improves the offspring's pathological phenotype. Journal of Physiology-London. May 2018. doi: 10.1113/JP275585. IF 4.540.

PETRÁSEKT., VOJTĚCHOVÁI., LOBELLOVA, V., POPELIKOVA, A., JANIKOVA, M., BROZKA, H., HOUDEK, P., SLADEK, M., SUMOVA, A., KRIŠTOFIKOVÁZ., VALEŠK., STUCHLÍKA. The McGill transgenic rat model of Alzheimer’s disease displays cognitive and motor impairments, changes in anxiety and social behavior, and altered circadian activity. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2018, 10. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00250. IF 3.582.


Webpages to visit

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RP1 Experimental Neurobiology RP2 Social Psychiatry RP3 Applied Neurosciences and Brain Imaging RP4 Epidemiological and Clinical Research in Addictions RP5 Sleep Medicine and Chronobiology RP6 Brain Electrophysiology RP7 Diagnostics and Treatment of Mental Disorders Center for Transfer Technologies and Applied Research of NIMH AD Centrum Publications Research Projects Pharmaceutical Industry-Sponsored Research Ethics Commission Postgraduate Students Conferences & Seminars Awards International Course 2015
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