Gross Research Lab
The majority of mental disorders such as epilepsy and autism spectrum disorders are idiopathic. A promising strategy in health sciences is therefore to discover and explore shared underlying biological mechanisms that could serve as a therapeutic target for larger patient groups. The study of well-defined single-gene disorders leading to intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy might point the way towards discovery of those shared molecular defects. The overall goal of the Gross Lab is to identify and study shared pathological mechanisms underlying brain disorders like epilepsy and autism of different etiologies, and to use this knowledge to develop therapeutic treatment approaches. To this end, the lab is working on two major projects: (1) the neuronal PI3K/mTOR pathway in health and disease, and (2) the regulation of mRNA translation of the potassium channel Kv4.2 in epilepsy. We anticipate that both of these projects will advance basic science by revealing molecular mechanisms regulating neuronal function, but will also lead to translational approaches by contributing to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for brain disorders such as autism and epilepsy.