Many neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with mutations in genes involved in the wiring of the brain, including the formation of cell type-specific synapses, which is crucial for the normal functioning of the brain. The Hindges Lab concentrates on the validation of gene candidates that were associated with different disorders through genetic linkage studies. Using zebrafish, the group assesses the consequences of gene mutations on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neural circuit formation and animal behaviour. Particular focuses are major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism-related aggression.
Major techniques in the lab include state-of-the-art genome editing, biochemical assessments, in vivo structural and functional brain imaging, and a variety of animal behaviour paradigms relevant to the individual disorders. Finally, zebrafish high-throughput approaches allow small-molecule or general pharmacological screens aimed at identifying compounds to develop novel therapeutic strategies.
Besides his role as a Principle Investigator, Robert Hindges is the Managing Director of the Centre for Developmental Neurobiology and Academic Head of the KCL Genome Editing and Embryology Core Facility (GEEC@KCL), which offers state-of-the-art technologies to the research community.
Teneurin paralogues are able to localise synaptic sites driven by the intracellular domain and have the potential to form cis-heterodimersFrontiers in Neuroscience