Welcome to Neuroscience Center Zurich

Dr. Simona Spinelli



Preclinical Laboratory for Translational Research into Affective Disorders (PLaTRAD)
Clinic for Affective Disorders and General Psychiatry
Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich

August Forel-Str. 7
CH-8008 Zurich

Tel: +41 44 634 8923

Main Goals, Keywords

The focus of our research is to understand how exposure to stressful life events and genotype interact to increase the risk for developing mood and anxiety disorders. In particular, our interest is in understanding how differences in brain development may predispose certain individuals to major depression and anxiety disorders, and how these changes may be related to dysfunctions of the serotonin system. One goal is to help developing better pharmacological treatments for mood and anxiety disorders. To this aim, we use a translation approach, conducting research in depressed and healthy control subjects and, implementing animal models to investigated new pharmacological targets.

Keywords: Major depression, anxiety, translational research, serotonin, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), genetic, stress, pharmacology, animal model.

Group Members

1 group leader, 1 postdoc

Previous and current research

In humans, we are investigating the brain-behavior correlates of negative feedback processing using fMRI and how genetic differences may influence negative feedback processing in patients with major depression and controls. In mice, we use pharmacological fMRI to investigate whether stress and genotype alter serotonin receptor's function and functional connectivity between brain regions known to be important for antidepressant's action.

Techniques and Equipment

Behavioral and neuropsychological tests for humans and mice, pharmacological challenges, and neuroimaging (fMRI data analysis).

Selected Publications


Swiss National Science Foundation



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© 2015 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 17 October 2014