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Milner Institute Special Seminar – Professor Soojin Ryu

10 July, 2023|12:00 am - 5:00 pm

Join us on Monday, 17th July for a special seminar. No registration is necessary and address details can be found below.


Professor Soojin Ryu, Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter


“A novel zebrafish model to identify molecular signatures of stress-induced maladaptation”


Chronic or severe stress exposure during development is a strong risk factor for developing neuropsychiatric diseases in humans. One proposed mechanism involves the priming of stress-sensitive gene networks through early life exposure to glucocorticoids (GCs), which can modify stress responses later in life. However, the comprehensive understanding of brain-wide molecular alterations induced by GC priming remains limited. We developed and utilized a novel optogenetic zebrafish model to elevate endogenous GC levels during development and identified the transcriptomic changes in the brain across the life course. When developmental GC-exposed fish were exposed to acute stress in adulthood, they exhibited highly exaggerated endocrinal and transcriptional changes. These changes included gene sets associated with axon development, neuronal signaling, and epigenetic modulators. Remarkably, the altered gene sets were enriched with risk genes associated with human psychiatric disorders. This model may be useful for identification of molecular targets relevant for stress-induced maladaptation including neuropsychiatric disease susceptibility.

A Short Biography

BA Harvard University
PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkely
Human Frontiers Long Term Postdoc Fellow – University of Freiburg, Germany
2009-2015: Max Planck Research Group Leader – Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
2015-2019: Associate Professor – University of Mainz, Germany
Since 2020: Full Professor and Assistant Director – Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter

Jeffery Cheah Biomedical Centre Lecture Theatre
Puddicombe Way CB2 0AW



10 July, 2023
12:00 am - 5:00 pm