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Factsheet by Tanja Maria Sheldrick-Michel

Group name: Translational neuroscience group
Group leader: Tanja Maria Sheldrick-Michel
Group members:
1 Full Professor
1 Associate Professor
3 post-doc fellows
2 Ph.D. students
3 Pre-graduate students

Department & University/Hospital/Other:
Dept. Psychiatry, Clinical Research Inst. University of Southern DenamrK, Nuclear Medicine Dept. Odense University Hospital
Funding sources:
Region of Southern Denmark
Psychiatric research fund
Odense University Hospital
University of Southern Denmark

Description of research:
1. We have established a well characterised clinical cohort of patients that have been diagnosed with autism within the last 20 years in the former Fyns Amt (600 individuals, Fynen autism cohort).

2. We established a biobank of different tissue types of the Fynen autism cohort/matched healthy controls. We will combine our available re-soursces (OPEN) with newly developed cutting-edge techniques from stem cell biology and tissue engineering, nanotechnology,proteomics and computational biology to analyse the samples.

3. We investigate the impact of cellular damage in autism. We analyse the whole proteom, but put a special focus on oxidative stress, due to free radicals. For this, we measure the concentration of anti-oxidants and free radical scavengers in tissue of patients and compare them to age and gender matched healthy controls.

4. As one of the first groups in Denmark, and one of the few in the world, we develop three dimensional neuronal stem-cell models (organoids, mini-brains) to investigate the mechanism of ebryonal development in autism. We apply the cutting edge technology on the basis of pat-tients/controls derived induced pluripotent stemcell (iPSC), in a the new concept to create discrete 3D brain structures in vitro named "mini-brain" that can be used for disease modeling, diagnosis, and therapy

5. We want to monitor the cellular damage/processess in vivo employing the newest state of the art PET/MRI scanner to investigate the glucose metabolism, blood flow and fatty acid metabolism in their brains and compared them with the population of healthy subjects. We hope by this comparison we will get a clear idea about the functional differences of brains of ASD patients compared with healthy subjects.

6. In collaboration with the Dept of Bioinformatics, the different data-sets will be collected and analysed and compared to other clinical cohortes in order to find individual biomarker clusters for the distinct clinical conditions versus unaffected healthy individuals (e.g. autism, high risk for schizophrenia, healthy individuals). This aims to individualize autism (and psychiatric) treatment in the future.

Key publications (last 10 years):
1. Ilieva M, Thorsen MB, Michel TM (2017) Brain organoids- from personalized in vitro model to precision treatment of autism. Under editorial decision, Biological Psychiatry (IPF: 13)

2. Forsberg LS, Ilieva M, Michel TM (2017) Epigenetics and Cerebral Organoids: Proising directions in Autism Spectrum Disorders (under review, Molecular Psychiatry, IPS: 14)

3. Andablib S, Vafaee MS, Michel TM (2017) Maternal exposure increases the risk of autistic offspring: A meta-analys and systematic review (under review European Psychiatry, IPS 3,92)

4. Van der Steen Y, Gimpel-Drees J, Lataster T, Viechbauer W, Simons CJP, Lardinois M, Michel TM et al., (2017) Clinical high risk for psychosis: the association between momentary stress, affective and psychotic symptoms Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2017 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print] (IPS 6,13)

5. Kaestner A, Begemann M, Michel TM, Everts S, Stepniak B, Bach C, Poustka L, Becker J, Banaschewski T, Dose M, Ehrenreich H (2015) Autism beyond diagnostic categories: characterization of autistic phenotypes in schizophrenia. BMC Psychiatry 15:115 (IPF: 2,21)

6. Derntl B*, Michel TM* (shared first author), Prempeh P, Backes V, Finkelmeyer A, Schneider F, Habel U (2015) Empathy in individuals clinically at risk for psychosisi: brain and behaviour. Br. J Psychiatry 207: 407-13; e-pub: 20 August, (7,991)

7. Zink M, Schirmbeck F, Rausch F, Eifler S, Elkin H, Solojenkina X, Englisch S, Wagner M, Maier W, Lautenschlager M, Heinz A, Gudlowski Y, Janssen B, Gaebel W, Michel TM, et al., (2014). Obsessive-compulsive symptoms in at-risk mental states for psychosis: associations with clinical impairment and cognitive function. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 130:214-26. (IPF: 5,605)

8. Abdalla M, Michel TM (2013) Matrix metalloproteinases in Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Molecular Psychiatry 1:16 (open access e-journal)

9. Schneider K, Regenbogen C Pauly KD, Gossen A, Schneider DA, Mevissen L, Michel TM, Gur RC, Habel U, Scheider F (2013) Evidence for Gender-Specific Endophenotypes in High-Functioning Autism spectrum disorder during empathy. Autism Res. 6:506-21 (IPF 3,98)

10. Ngounou Wetie GA, Sokolowska I, Wormwood K, Beglinger K, Michel TM, Thome J, Darie CC, Woods AG (2013). Mass spectrometry for the detection of potential psychiatric biomarkers. J Mol Psychiatry 1:8 (open access e-journal)

11. Woods AG, Wetie AG, Sokolowska I, Russell S, Ryan JP, Michel TM, Thome J, Darie CC (2013) Mass spectrometry as a tool for studying autism spectrum disorder Journal of Molecular Psychiatry – open access, 1:6 (21 May 2013) open access

12. Michel TM, Pülschen D, Thome J (2012). The role of free radicals in depression. Curr. Pharmac. Design 18:5890-9 (IPF: 4,77)

13. Schneider K, Mevissen L, Michel TM, Gur R, Habel F, Schneider F (2013) Neural Correlates of Moral Reasoning in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 8:702-10 (IF: 4.482)

14. Nickl-Jockschat T, Habel U, Michel TM, Manning J, Laird A, Fox PT, Schneider F, Eickhoff SB (2011) "Brain structure anomalies in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - a meta-analysis of VBM studies using anatomic likelihood estimation (ALE). HBM (Human Brain Mapping) 33:1470-89 (IPF:6,56,) 20.6 epub

15. Nickl-Jockschat T, Michel TM (2011) Neurotrophic factors in autism. Molecular Psychiatry 16:478-490, (IPF:15,54)

16. Michel TM, Sheldrick AJ, Camara S, Schneider F, Grünblatt E, Riederer P (2011) Alteration of the pro-oxidant xanthine oxidase (XO) in the thalamus and the cerebral cortex of patients with schizophrenia. World J Biol Psychiatry 12:588-97 (IPF: 5,56)

17. Ettinger U, Williams SC, Patel D, Michel TM, Nwaigwe A, Caceres A, Mehta MA, Anilkumar AP, Kumari V (2009). Effects of acute nicotine on brain function in healthy smokers and non-smokers: Estimation of inter-individual response heterogeneity. Neuroimage 45:549-561 (IPF: 5.46, gIPF:1,55)

Key collaborations:
Danish: Odense University Hospital, Århus University Hospital, University Hospital Ålborg, Statens Serum Insitute, Cophenhagen

International: Montreal Neurological Inst., John´s Hopkins University, Dept. Nuclear Medicine, Max Planck Institute Goettingen, Germany, Excellence University Aachen, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Kings College London, UK, Mount Sinai Hospital New York, USA; University of Zuerich,
University of Sydney, Australia

We have a new established laboratory for stem-cell research in Psychiatry, with new cutting edge technology with cutting edge technologyies such as e.g. the IncuCyte live cell imaging system (Essens) microscope and the Amaxa Nucleofector.

We have access to modern neuroimaging facilities at the Center for Nuclear Medicine (6PET CT, state of the art PET-MRI) 
We have the right to use to a “super Computer “Abacus” for “big data” analysis and system neurobiology/bioinformatics.