Pathophysiology of Psychiatric disorders: Development and Vulnerability



Research center


Université Paris Descartes
ED BioSPC ED 158 ED 563


Idex Sorbonne Paris Cité


trouble bipolaire
Available to host a PhD student


Renard J, Vitalis T, Rame M, Krebs M-O, Lenkei Z, Le Pen G, Jay TM. Chronic cannabinoid exposure during adolescence leads to long-term structural and functional changes in the prefrontal cortex. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol, 2015, in press.

Alexandre Ch, Chaumette B. Martinez G, Christia L, Dupont JM, Kebir O, Gaillard R, Amado I, Krebs MO. Paradoxical improvement of schizoprenic symptoms by a dopaminergic agonist : an example of personalized psychiatry in a CNV carrying patient. Biological Psychiatry. 2015 in press

Chan MK, Krebs MO, Cox D, Guest PC, Yolken RH, Rahmoune H, Rothermundt M, Steiner J, Leweke FM, van Beveren NJ, Niebuhr DW, Weber NS, Cowan DN, Suarez-Pinilla P, Crespo-Facorro B, Mam-Lam-Fook C, Bourgin J, Wenstrup RJ, Kaldate RR, Cooper JD, Bahn S. Development of a blood-based molecular biomarker test for identification of schizophrenia before disease onset. Transl Psychiatry. 2015 Jul 14;5:e601.

Chaumette B, Kebir O, Mam-Lam-Fook C, Morvan Y, Bourgin J, Godsil BP, Plaze M, Gaillard R, Jay TM, Krebs MO. Salivary cortisol in early psychosis: new findings and meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2015 Oct 16;63:262-270.

Chaumette B, Kebir O, Mam-Lam-Fook C, Bourgin J, Godsil BP, Gaillard R, Jay TM, Krebs MO. Stress et Transition Psychotique : revue de la littérature - Encéphale in press

Fields of research

Neurophysiology / systems neuroscience

Research Theme

The overall goal of our research is to decipher the mechanisms involved in major mental health problems: psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder, addiction.

Our previous works support the view that some of the biological substrates might be transversal and overcoming the classical diagnostic classification. Abnormal development appears relevant for understanding vulnerability to psychiatric disorders and in particular to psychosis. On the other hand, some common environmental factor could modulate, and trigger, the emergence of symptoms. There are already evidence that stress and cannabis could be such factors. Deciphering the change induced by the exposure to these factors might lead to new therapeutic strategies, including secondary prevention.

We develop fundamental research projects, clinical projects and transversal research projects with 3 major lines of research:
1) Cognitive integration and dysconnectivity. We will improve the identification of elementary cognitive and neurophysiological processes characterizing the different stages from vulnerability to psychosis onset in particular attention, sensori motor integration, executive functions, visuo-spatial abilities, and control of oculomotricy motricity.
2) Neuronal plasticity and emotional regulation
1 - The objective is to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the dynamics and plasticity of prefrontal networks including the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala
2 - The impairment of plasticity and the impact of therapeutics using stress models: We are investigating the cellular mechanisms of the negative effects of stress on prefrontal plasticity and their reversal (using psychotropic drugs) in parallel to the dynamic glucocorticoid activation. We also examine the role of the amygdala in mediating stress effects on prefrontal plasticity.
3-  Anxiety and fear extinction.