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Karl Group - Dr Tim Karl

The Karl Group is interested in understanding mental and neurodegenerative disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Karl’s team applies behavioural phenotyping techniques and uses pharmacological tools to determine the interactive role of genetic and environmental risk factors in the development of these illnesses. One particular focus is the investigation of the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system in these disorders.
Another major line of Dr Karl’s research explores ways to increase the relevance and validity of animal models for preclinical medical research. One approach is to investigate the effects of housing conditions on the neurobehavioural phenotype of these models. For example, the role of housing conditions which are more stimulating than standard laboratory housing (i.e. environmental enrichment: EE) are analysed in genetic mouse models for brain disorders. Importantly, EE has a significant beneficial impact on brain development and behaviour and improves the welfare of laboratory animals. Dr. Karl’s research is crucial for experimental animal research as housing conditions differ across animal facilities thereby affecting the reliability and comparability of preclinical animal studies worldwide.

Click here to access Dr Tim Karl's research papers:

NHMRC Senior Research Fellow (R.D. Wright Biomedical CDF Level 2), NeuRA
Conjoint Senior Lecturer, UNSW
Member of the Animal Care and Ethics Committee, UNSW
Affiliated Scientist with the Schizophrenia Research Institute
T: +612 9399 1838
E: t.karl@neura.edu.au

Tim Karl graduated from the Leipniz University of Hannover (Germany) in 2003 with a PhD in Zoology (Behavioural Neuroscience). Until 2008, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research working on rodent models for neuropeptide Y and for schizophrenia. In 2008, Tim Karl established his own behavioural neuroscience group at NeuRA. His research focuses on the neuro-behavioural consequences of gene-environment interactions in animal models for brain disorders (e.g. schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease). He also aims to enhance the validity of rodent models and the well-being of test animals in medical research by providing more stimulating housing conditions.Tim's research has attracted funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the Motor Neuron Disease Research Institute of Australia, the German Research Foundation and other funding bodies (e.g. the Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation and Perpetual Trustees).

Environmental enrichment in animal model research

Behavioural, cellular and molecular studies have revealed a significant beneficial impact of environmental enrichment (EE; housing conditions that facilitate enhanced sensory, cognitive and motor stim

Genetic mouse models for schizophrenia: the candidate gene neuregulin 1

Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a chronic and disabling mental disorder that affects 1% of the world’s population. Neither environment nor genetics alone are sufficient to cause SCZ.

The role of the endocannabinoid system in Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is neurodegenerative cognitive disorder with an inflammatory component.

Research team 
Dr Tim Karl's picture
Dr Tim Karl
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow (R.D. Wright Biomedical CDF Level 2), NeuRA
Conjoint Senior Lecturer, UNSW
T: +612 9399 1838
E: t.karl@neura.edu.au
Jerzy Zieba's picture
Jerzy Zieba
Research Assistant