Professor Urs Meyer

Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich – Vetsuisse Faculty, Zurich, Switzerland

Title: "Epigenetic and transgenerational mechanisms in immune-mediated neurodevelopmental disorders"

Abstract: Epidemiologic studies have implicated maternal immune activation in the aetiology of various neurodevelopmental disorders. Maternal infectious pathogens and inflammation are plausible risk factors for these outcomes and have been associated with schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and bipolar disorder. Modelling this association in animals shows that maternal immune activation negatively affects foetal brain development and leads to the emergence of behavioral disturbances later in life. Recent discoveries in these preclinical models suggest that epigenetic modifications may be a critical molecular mechanism by which prenatal immune activation can mediate changes in brain development and functions, even across generations. This seminar discusses the potential epigenetic mechanisms underlying the effects of prenatal immune activation, thereby highlighting how immune-mediated epigenetic reprogramming may contribute to the transgenerational transmission of pathological traits. The identification of epigenetic and transgenerational effects of prenatal adversities such as in-utero immune exposure appears relevant to brain disorders independently of existing diagnostic classifications and may help identifying complex patterns of transgenerational disease transmission beyond genetic inheritance. The consideration of ancestral infectious histories may be of substantial clinical interest and may be pivotal for developing new preventive treatment strategies against infection-mediated neurodevelopmental disorders.


About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium on Level 7 are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018