Professor Gitte Moos Knudsen from the Neurobiology Research Unit at Rigshospitalet and head of Cimbi is proud of the results achieved over the past ten years. The research centre has studied differences in the behaviour and personalities of healthy people, and how the structure, function and neurotransmission of the brain contribute to explaining these differences. This has provided an insight into the factors that determine the development of brain disorders such as depression and memory problems.
Cimbi has developed new brain imaging methods, especially by validating novel radiolabelled tracer and by developing new data analysis tools for brain scans. Cimbi has particularly focused on an important brain neurotransmitter system; serotonin. By neuroimaging of the serotonin system as well as of the structure and function of the brain, the centre has been able to demonstrate how this system changes as a result of conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, depression, Ecstacy abuse, obesity and impulse aggression.
Professor Knudsen highlights three examples of significant research outcomes from the Center. Cimbi has:
1) through medicinal chemistry and radiochemistry approaches developed novel radiotracers to measure, e.g., brain's serotonin receptors
2) developed a brain-scanning method to determine the serotonin level of the brain
3) demonstrated the role of the serotonergic transmitter system in food intake and obesity.
By studying the healthy peoples brains, Cimbi has achieved research results which can form the basis for prevention of brain disorders such as depression and memory problems.
Cimbi contributes valuable knowledge
Cimbi has attracted international attention. As a long-term Cimbi collaborator, Professor Terry L. Jernigan, the Director at the UCSD Center for Human Development, University of California, has followed Cimbi's research closely over the past ten years. She highlights the following in particular:
- It has long been a mystery why our emotional responses to the things going on around us differ from those of others. The research in Cimbi has provided important insights into the associated biological differences within the brain's neural circuits.
The research results have been achieved in collaborations between the Neurobiology Research Unit and the PET & Cyclotron Unit, both at Rigshospitalet, in addition to partners from the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark and the Danish research centre for MRI at Hvidovre Hospital.
In future, parts of Cimbi's research will be continued at the new Center for Experimental Medicine Neuropharmacology, also called NeuroPharm, to which the Innovation Fund Denmark has contributed DKK 15.6 mill.