We just received the wonderful news that we were successful in securing an MBIE Endeavour grant. Together with Drs Penny Truman, Paul Teesdale Spittle and Rob Keijzers we will investigate whether monoamine oxidase inhibitors alter the rewarding properties of nicotine. This can help us develop more effective replacement therapies.
A bit of good news at the end of the week. Darren and I submitted a grant to the Research for Life Foundation to investigate the serotonylation of Rho GTPases in our SERT KO rats, a project very close to Liv McGifford‘s project. And we just got the good news that it was successful.
With great pleasure I can announce that we just obtained a substantial grant from the Heart Foundation of NZ for investigating the link between depression, anxiety and heart problems. For more details, see: https://www.victoria.ac.nz/news/2017/09/unravelling-the-link-between-mental-illness-and-heart-disease
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder characterised by deficits in social behaviour and communication, and an increase in repetitive and stereotyped behaviour. Epidemiological studies have shown that prenatal exposure to valproate (an antiepileptic drug and mood stabilizer) leads to a 4 – 5 fold higher risk of developing ASD. Although animal studies have found a similar effect, these studies usually use only a single injection of valproate during pregnancy, which is very different from the clinical situation. Therefore, in this project we will investigate if daily, low doses of valproate ot pregnant female rats induces ASD-like characteristics in the offspring.