Kai-Christian Sonntag, PH.D., M.D.
|Title||Assistant Professor of Psychiatry|
M R C 223
115 Mill St
Belmont MA 02478
Available: 06/21/12, Expires: 06/30/14
Our scientific interest is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative and other diseases of the CNS and to develop new therapeutic tools using gene and cell therapy approaches. Our research is based on translational approaches that integrate the analysis of postmortem human brains, animal models of disease, and cell and gene-engineering paradigms to study neuronal degeneration and dysfunction. We use human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell or neuronal conversion technologies to produce functional neural cell systems, and generate lentivirus vectors for modulating gene and miRNA expression in vitro and in vivo. Key aspects of our research refer to the characterization of factors governing neuronal cell function in Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease, and some aspects of psychiatric disorders. Our work stems from the understanding that cell development and function depend on a strictly organized network orchestrating intracellular and environmental factors. In addition, regulatory mechanisms of transcription and translation underscore a critical role of gene expression levels in these processes. All these factors provide a temporal, positional and molecular framework to achieve normal cell development and function. Deregulated gene expression and signaling pathways are major contributors to cellular malfunction and ultimately lead to disease, and these processes are regulated by miRNAs. Our research aims to delineate these mechanisms on the molecular and cellular level.
We are located at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and look for students that are interested in basic laboratory research. We offer to teach basic techniques in molecular and cellular biology, i.e. working with DNA, RNA, proteins, plasmids, viruses, cell culture, microscopy, immunostaining techniques, etc. We also work with rodent (rats and mice) models of disease and use molecular techniques to analyze postmortem brain tissue. This includes laser capture microscopy and immunostaining techniques. Initial knowledge and skills would be helpful. Language requirement is English.
Available: 07/23/12, Expires: 07/31/14
Our scientific mission is to understand the cellular mechanisms in neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases and to develop new therapeutic tools using gene and cell therapy approaches. Our main goal is to tailor pluripotent stem cells, such as human (h)ES cells or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) to produce safe, efficient and functional neural cell populations as source for cell replacement therapy, therapy development and studying disease processes. We use this and other cell systems for a variety of applications. For example, we are interested in understanding the role of small molecules, such as microRNAs, or specific gene expression profiles in Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, we develop and use gene-engineering approaches based on lentiviral vector technology to test the molecular function of molecules and factors involved in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. This includes, the expression of proteins or miRNAs in in vitro and in vivo model systems for neurodegeneration and psychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia, addiction, and depression.
We are located at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and look for students that are interested in basic laboratory research. We offer to teach basic techniques and methodologies in molecular and cellular biology, i.e., working with DNA, RNA, plasmids, viruses, cell culture, microscopy, immunostaining techniques, stem cell biology, laser microdissection, gene expression profiling, animal models, and others.
Local representatives can answer questions about the Profiles website or help with editing a profile or issues with profile data. For assistance with this profile: HMS/HSDM faculty should contact Human Resources at faculty_serviceshms.harvard.edu.
Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations!
People who are also in this person's primary department.