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APC researcher Dr Friederike Uhlig secures SFI-IRC Pathway funding

3 Nov 2023
Dr Friederike Uhlig

APC Researcher Dr Friederike Uhlig has won an SFI-IRC Pathway Award for her project GO-AHEAD "Gastrointestinal Oxytocin is importAnt in HEalth And Disease"

The project has secured funding of €436,073 and will investigate the hormones produced in the gut including the “love hormone” oxytocin. Oxytocin is important because it regulates behaviour in the brain and gut function. It is also suggested as a novel treatment for autism spectrum disorder. This disorder affects about 1 in 100 individuals worldwide and is associated with behavioural deficits and gut dysfunction.

Dr Friederike Uhlig says “I will investigate how gut oxytocin is regulated and whether stimuli from gut bacteria induce gut oxytocin release. Previously, gut bacteria were shown to regulate the production of other hormones. It is my goal to understand whether gut oxytocin can be used to address gut and brain symptoms.” 

APC Director Prof Paul Ross welcomes the news “The GO-AHEAD project is a very worthy winner of the SFI-IRC Pathway Award as it will deepen our understanding of the hormones that regulate behaviour in the brain and gut function, a critical relationship that will open up new possibilities to improve human health. Well done to Dr Uhlig, we are looking forward to the findings of your research.”

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