Research themes

BRIMS is one of Malaysia's leading research institutes in neuroscience research with highly advanced research facilities and equipment. We focus on the following five research areas:

Depression Group

The number of patients with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety keeps increasing, which becomes a serious issue and impacts our social life. The Depression and Anxiety Group aims to understand the cause of depression and anxiety from a range of aspects including biochemical, physiological, pharmacological, genetic, behavioural, environmental and social factors.

Drug Discovery Group

Experimental modelling of human disorders enables the definition of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying diseases and the development of therapies for treating them. The availability of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), which are capable of self-renewal and have the potential to differentiate into virtually any cell type, can now help to overcome the limitations of animal models for certain disorders. The Drug Discovery Group aims to establish stem-cell basis human brain disease models for their use in drug screening.

Addiction Group

Drug abuse is a major public health problem that impacts society on multiple levels. Addiction is now considered to be more psychologically dependent and emotional states are well known to trigger relapse. The negative emotional state of drug withdrawal and the emotional memories of protracted abstinence are hypothesized to combine to exacerbate relapse and the addiction process. The Addiction Group aims to understand neuronal circuits linking negative emotion and addiction.

Neurodegeneration Group

Age-related human neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are major social and medical problems. Although the molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration remains unknown, oxidative stress may contribute to neural cell death. The Neurodegeneration Group utilizes genomics approaches such as genetic approach (transgenic and knock-out), single-cell gene expression analysis, DNA microarray, RNAi, and microRNA.

Autism Group

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Accumulated evidences suggested that children born to mothers with a hormonal imbalance run a much higher risk of developing autism. The Autism Group aims to understand neurochemical basis of autism.