Dr. G. Kenis (Gunter)
- Director European Graduate School of Neuroscience
- Assistant Professor, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience,
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University
Being passionate about neuroscience and teaching, it is my goal to further develop EURON as an international organization that stimulates young researchers to develop a broad orientation on neuroscience, that creates opportunities for networking and collaboration, and that prepares for a blooming career, within and outside academia.
My main research area is the molecular neurobiology of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Within our multidisciplinary research group of Translational Neuropsychiatry, we focus on epigenetic processes as underlying mechanisms of gene-environment interactions in Alzheimer’s Disease and in stress-related mental disorders such as major depression, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress syndrome. In this respect, the molecular mechanisms of pharmaceutical and neurostimulation interventions are also included. We recruit patients form ongoing longitudinal studies at the Maastricht University Medical Centre, but we also collaborate with several international consortia that manage extended population and patient cohorts. Currently, we are developing patient-derived stem cell models for in-depth candidate gene characterization and target validation, and also to zoom in on patient-specific molecular processes that mediate environmental sensitivity.
This translational research approach requires a strong interaction between multiple, diverse disciplines. Our team therefore comprises molecular cell biologists, bioinformaticians, psychologists and clinical psychiatrists.
In addition, I am intrigued by mind-body relationships. In particular, I am interested in how peripheral inflammation alters affect regulation, how immune dysregulation contributes to creating vulnerability for stress-related disorders, and what the contribution is of chronic inflammatory in driving the pathogenic processes of dementia. As such, we are currently exploring possible biochemical pathways of immune-to-brain communication and examine their relationship with affect status and Alzheimer’s Disease in a transdiagnostic setting.