Dr Elisabeth Frank
Dipl. Biol., PhD
- Schizophrenia Research Institute Visiting Fellow
Neurotransmission and neuroimmunology in animal models of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disease; however, its underlying neurochemical mechanisms are still unknown. Current research shows the involvement of several neurotransmitter systems, however, their in vivo release and interaction is mostly unknown. Additionally, increasing evidence indicates the involvement of immune factors in the schizophrenia aetiology.
Approach and expected outcome:
Using brain microdialysis in freely moving animals, changes of several different neurotransmitters (glutamate, dopamine, GABA) will be explored in relation to observed behaviours. This will allow us to identify the release pattern of relevant neurotransmitter systems as underlying behavioural symptoms of schizophrenia. Secondly, using genetic animal models of schizophrenia, the impact of an immune challenge on plasma and CSF levels of several immune factors will be studied. This will give us a novel understanding of the role of the immune system in the schizophrenia aetiology.
Research grants 2009/2011:
External grants: Ramaciotti Foundation Establishment Grant 2009; SRI New Initiative & Project Funding 2009/2010/2011
Internal Grants: FRC Early Career Researcher Grants 2009/2010; URC Small Grants 2009/2010
Top 5 publications:
- Frank E, Newell K, Huang XF (2010). ‘Density of metabotropic glutamate receptors 2 and 3 (mGluR2/3) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex does not differ with schizophrenia diagnosis but decreases with age.’ Schizophrenia Research (A), epub
- Frank E, Keßler MS, Filiou M, Zhang Y, Bunck M, Maccarrone G, Hambsch B, Turck CW, Landgraf R (2009). 'Stable isotope metabolic labeling with a novel 15N-enriched bacteria diet for improved proteomic analyses of mouse models for psychopathologies.’ (PLoS ONE (A), Nov 2009)
- Frank E, Landgraf R (2008). ‘The vasopressin system - From antidiuresis to psychopathology.’ (European Journal of Pharmacology (B), 583(2-3), 226-42.)
- Landgraf R, Kessler MS, Bunck M, Murgatroyd C, Spengler D, Zimbelmann M, Nussbaumer M, Czibere L, Turck CW, Singewald N, Rujescu D and Frank E (2007). ‘Candidate genes of anxiety-related behavior in HAB/LAB rats and mice: focus on vasopressin and glyoxalase-I.’ (Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (B). 31, 89-102.)
- Frank E, Salchner P, Aldag JM, Salome N, Singewald N, Landgraf R, Wigger A, (2006). ‚Genetic predisposition to anxiety-related behavior determines coping style, neuroendocrine responses, and neuronal activation during social defeat.’ (Behavioural Neuroscience (A). 120, 60-71.)
Phone: +61 2 4221 3978
News & Media
Mark Solomons, a member of the School of Health Sciences first MSC Occupational Hygiene Practice graduating class (2010) recently took out the coveted Dräger Safety Pacific Young Hygienist Award. He will attend the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) conference in 2013 with associated visits to Europe. Mark is a Senior Occupational Hygienist at BHP Billiton Roxby Downs Olympic Dam and was also the first UOW MSc OHP graduate to gain Certified Occupational Hygienist (COH) status in 2011.