The risk of developing psychiatric disorders is determined by both environmental and genetic factors. My main research interest is the identification of molecular moderators of the response to environmental factors, with a focus on early trauma and gene-environment interactions.
My department studies how such factors influence trajectories to psychiatric disease or well-being with the aim of using this information in prevention and treatment strategies. For this, we use molecular techniques, including next-generation sequencing and functionally relevant stimuli in human tissues and cells, including induced pluripotent stem cells.With these methods we can identify genetic and epigenetic factors that alter the molecular and consequently systemic response to stress and, as a result, influence the risk for psychiatric disorders. Such approaches aim to identify biological factors, which allow biology-based interventions and treatments and disease definitions based on underlying pathomechanisms and not just symptoms.