Research Areas > Behavior and epigenetics > Jonathan Kipnis
Graduate School: Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Primary Appointment: Associate Professor, Neuroscience
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program(s)
Neuroimmune interactions in neurodegenerative and mental disorders - understanding of basic mechanisms and development of therapeutic vaccines
We are interested in the role of immune system in the following conditions:
Mental conditions - cognition, neurogenesis, neuronal plasticity.
In our lab we are working on the interaction of the immune and nervous systems. Up until recently, scientists assumed that the presence of immune system in the central nervous system (CNS) was a hallmark for undergoing pathological processes. However, new line of evidence supports the notion that immune assistance is required for a better neuronal survival following injury.
Moreover, we found that animals that lack the population of T lymphocytes (T cells) cannot perform cognitive tasks as well as normal animals do and are impaired in adult neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity. On the other hand, boost of immune response (vaccine) improves learning abilities in normal animals and accelerates neurogenesis.
We are trying to elucidate on cellular and molecular levels the mechanism underlying these beneficial effects of immune cells in healthy and diseased CNS. We are also designing vaccines that promote neuronal survival and improve cognitive functions.
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