The research group was led by Li Tian (email@example.com) who is a Research Professor in the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu. Li Tian has previously received funding from the Academy of Finland, China National and Beijing Natural Science Foundations, Estonian Research Council, and European Union. Our group has ongoing collaborations with scientists from several universities in Europe, China, and north America. The major research theme of our group is neuroimmune psychiatry. Our research topics cover characterization of heterogeneous glial target genes using genetic mouse lines with stress models, as well as with patients of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Alongside reaching scientific goals of our research theme, we aim to develop innovative research platforms of multicolor flow cytometry and live imaging platforms for neuroimmune psychiatric research.
Mind-immune connection has been an increasingly attended research theme in neuroscience in recent years. My group focuses on the crosstalk between glial cells and neurons in regulation of normal brain development and behaviors, as well as their roles in neuropsychiatric disorders. The overarching aim of our study is to find out immune-related biomarkers and risk genes in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression, and to depict the underlying biological mechanisms on their patho-etiologies. We study both human patients and rodent disease models and use cutting-edge genetic and laboratorial approaches to holistically evaluate the brain-immune crosstalk. Our research methods include transgenic animal models and various animal and laboratory experiments, such as in vivo and in vitro imaging, cellular and molecular assays, behavioral tests, bioinformatics, as well as various clinical approaches including genetic data to explore the role of candidate immune genes in regulation of the biological mechanism of mental disorders.
Estonian Research Council: Unravelling mind-immune connection for mental disorders (SMVBS17528T, 01.01.2018−31.12.2022)