Project ER2: Predicting in vivo CNS activity. High content evaluation of physiological network-effects of complex plant extracts.

Post.doc: Sujay Guha

Supervision: Prof. Jürg Gertsch

Host Institution: Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern.

Co-supervisor: Egon Koch, Dr. Willmar Schwabe.

The main objective of this project is to develop an interdisciplinary approach that combines chemical screens, analytical chemistry, biochemistry and genetics to identify natural products that might have an effect on neural behaviors, using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans).

To that aim, we decided to target the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a key role in the central and peripheral nervous system. One of the major objectives is to understand and pharmacologically exploit key eicosanoids within C. elegans.

Moreover, we have devised an in-vitro biochemical method to rapidly screen plant extracts affecting the ECS in C. elegans. The hits obtained from this screen coupled with activity based proteomics are now being characterized in-vivo and their effects are being evaluated on the worm’s growth, development and neuro-modulatory behaviors.

Duration: 2 years – start September 2014.