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Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie

Research group Fiebich

Neurochemistry, Neuroimmunology and molecular Neurobiology related to aging
Research group
Dr. Bernd Fiebich
Phone: +49 (0)761 270 - 68980
Email: bernd.fiebich@uniklinik-freiburg.de
Group members:

Dr. Inga Herpfer (M.D.)
Dr. Harsharan Bhatia (Ph.D.)
Nizar Yousif (Ph.D. student)
Soraya Wilke Saliba (Ph.D. student)
Brahim Gargouri (Ph.D. student)
Agnes Ball (M.D. student)
Paula Isidora (master student)

We are frequently offering , M.D. theses (med. Doktorarbeiten), Internships / Master / Diploma Thesis positions.
For more informations, please contact: bernd.fiebich@uniklinik-freiburg.de

Research focus

Our research group is interested in various aspects of neuroinflammtion and neurodegeneration related to aging.
We are studying in detail the arachidonic acid cascade in microglia with a focus on Prostaglanin E2/D2 and the enzymes involved in their synthesis (COX, mPGES, PGDS). Furthermore we are interested whether natural products such as plant extracts and natural compounds (e.g. Gingko, Cannabis and cannabinoids) und nutraceuticals (vitamins etc.) can interfere and protect from neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.
Another major focus of our group is the role of miRNAs in neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and peripheral blood cells (monocytes, lymphocytes, thrombocytes).
We also investigate the effects of conventional psychotropic drugs on tachykininergic systems as well as the effects of tachykinin receptor antagonists on monoaminergic neurotransmission and on behaviour in mice.

Research projects

Ongoing projects

  • Prostaglandins/cyclooxygenase
  • Microglia
  • Neuropeptides including tachykininergic systems
  • Cannabis and cannabinoids (u.a. EU project 'Cannabis')
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neurotransmitter
  • miRNA (microRNA) in neurodegeneration, inflammation, and microglia activation
  • Natural products
  • Nutrition and healthy aging


  • Cannabis/Cannabinoids: Dr. V. Auwärter (Rechtsmedizin), Prof. Eduardo Munoz (University of Cordoba, Spain) 
  • miRNA: Dr. C. Stratz/Dr. T. Nuehrenberg (University Heart Center Bad Krozingen), Dr. A Höllig (University Hospital Aachen) 
  • Natural products: Prof. M. Heinrich (School of Pharmacy London), Prof. G. Appendino (University of Navarra, Italy), Prof. Olajide (University of Huddersfield, UK) 
  • Nutrition and healthy aging: Prof. M. Huell (Gerontology, Freiburg), Dr. G. Eckert (University of Frankfurt) 
  • Tachykinergic systems: Prof. K. Lieb (Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Centre Mainz), Prof. N. Singewald (Neuropharmacology, University of Innsbruck, Austria)

Selected recent papers

  • Alleviation of Microglial Activation Induced by p38 MAPK/MK2/PGE2 Axis by Capsaicin: Potential Involvement of other than TRPV1 Mechanism/s. Bhatia HS, Roelofs N, Muñoz E, Fiebich BL. Sci Rep. 2017 Dec;7(1):116.  
  • Bhatia HS, Baron J, Hagl S, Eckert GP, Fiebich BL. Rice bran derivatives alleviate microglia activation: possible involvement of MAPK pathway. J Neuroinflammation. 2016 Jun 14;13(1):148.
  • de Oliveira AC, Yousif NM, Bhatia HS, Hermanek J, Huell M, Fiebich BL. Poly(I:C) increases the expression of mPGES-1 and COX-2 in rat primary microglia. J. Neuroinflammation. 2016 Jan 18;13(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12974-015-0473-7.
  • Kumar A, Bhatia HS, de Oliveira AC, Fiebich BL. microRNA-26a modulates inflammatory response induced by toll-like receptor 4 stimulation in microglia. J Neurochem. 2015 Dec;135(6):1189-202. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13364.  
  • Olajide OA, Bhatia HS, de Oliveira AC, Wright CW, Fiebich BL. Anti-neuroinflammatory properties of synthetic cryptolepine in human neuroblastoma cells: Possible involvement of NF-κB and p38 MAPK inhibition. Eur J Med Chem. 2013 Feb 19  
  • de Oliveira AC, Candelario-Jalil E, Langbein J, Wendeburg L, Bhatia HS, Schlachetzki JC, Biber K, Fiebich BL. Pharmacological inhibition of Akt and downstream pathways modulates the expression of COX-2 and mPGES-1 in activated microglia. J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Jan 3;9(1):2

Publications in PubMed


  • Alzheimer Foundation (AFI): MikroRNS Profilierung von Monozyten von Alzheimer-Patienten
  • Herman-Stiftung: Role of 5-Ht3 receptors in inflammation
  • DFG CA 115/5-4 „Regulation der Expression, Signaltransduktion und Funktion von Adenosinrezeptoren im Zentralnervensystem“ In collaboration with section Psychopharmakotherapy
  • Humbold-Foundation, Industrial partners

Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie

Hauptstraße 5
79104 Freiburg

Information: 0761 270-65010

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