Head of the Research Program
The Preclinical Research Program focuses on strengthening translational and application-oriented research at the preclinical level. The character and goal of these scientific projects focuses on deepening the cooperation between experimentally and clinically focused directions of research. The research program, by its character and emphasis on the transfer of science and research results into practice, also contributes to making it easier to ensure the long-term sustainability of NIMH and its further funding.
For the development of NIMH as a scientific-medical center, it appears to be the key strengthening of the translational approach. The approach to solving specific scientific projects is based on the interconnectedness of the methodologies of bioanalytical chemistry, animal modeling, molecular biology and imaging methods. The study of CNS disorders and the effect of drugs on them shows significant specificities compared to other organ systems. Symptoms of neuropsychiatric diseases typically appear only in patients. However, their neurobiological substrate or analogous symptoms also appear among animals. This enables the use and validation of animal models, either with induced neurobiological changes or with an altered genetic background (GMO), which enable exact sophisticated and often invasive approaches, thereby significantly enriching the methodological potential compared to the relatively limited possibilities of studying neurobiological changes in clinical practice.
An experimental approach in this area requires intensive contact with clinical practice and a thorough insight into the challenges facing contemporary biological psychiatry. The concept of the preclinical research program is based on a translational approach in close personnel and project interaction with other NIMH structures.