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Neurobiology & Toxicology

The Neurobiology and Toxicology group at the School of Pharmacy studies the molecular mechanisms for cell death, cell survival, differentiation, and plasticity of the nervous system.

Confocal images for live neurons.

Left: Cultured cerebellar granule neurons from rat.

Midle/right: Cerebellar granule neurons expressing NGFI-B-gfp (green). Nuclei are stained with Hoechst (blue), and mitochondria with Mitotracker (red). Cells in the picture to the right are treated with glutamate, and NGFI-B-gfp translocates into the neurites.

About the group

The group is led by two principal investigators, Professor Ragnhild Paulsen, and Associate Professor Cecilie Morland. We study mechanism for drug toxicity and diseases in the brain, and we aim to identify protective mechanisms. During development and ageing, as well as in diseases, brain plasticity is increased. Under these conditions, the brain is very sensitive to the effects of drugs or non-pharmacological treatments (e.g. exercise and nutrition). We use a combination of in vivo and in vitro techniques to study the effects of drugs and other substances on the developing and the ageing brain, and the neuroprotective effects of exercise. We employ animal models (rodents and chicken embryo) to mimic human disease and/or use of medications. We investigate behavioral effects of diseases, drugs, pollutants, and exercise, combined with histological examinations at the light, confocal or electron microscopic level. We also use primary cell cultures and established cell lines as experimental models for mechanistic studies.

Research areas

Lactate-sensing fibroblasts in stroke

Cell death and cell survival

CNS development in the fetus and newborn

Effects of exercise in the brain –the search for new drug targets

Study programmes and courses

Published Feb. 21, 2011 4:48 PM - Last modified Jan. 24, 2022 7:57 AM


Group leaders:

Ragnhild Paulsen
Cecilie Morland



No ongoing projects