Hannah Hirmz

Hannah Hirmz

Contact Info

Hannah Hirmz

Drug Quality and Registration (DruQuaR) group
Ottergemsesteenweg 460, 9000 Ghent (Belgium)


Phone: + 32 (0)9 264.80.99

E-mail: Hannah.Hirmz@ugent.be






PhD Research

Title: Quorum sensing peptides as bacterial mediators in neuropsychiatric disorders.


Several psychiatric manifestations and neuro-developmental/-degenerative diseases like depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders and memory loss are associated with the functionality of the gastrointestinal tract. This bidirectional phenomenon is called the gut-brain axis. However, the mechanisms of this gut-brain axis are not yet fully understood. In this research, quorum sensing peptides (QSP) are investigated as potential bacterial mediators in the gut-to-brain relation. QSP are chemical signaling molecules produced, released and detected by predominantly Gram-positive bacteria and have been found by our group to elicit specific responses from host cells e.g. cancer cells, muscle cells, immune cells and brain cells. This research contributes to our understanding of neuropsychiatric diseases, affecting roughly 20% of the population, and holds promise for a better future with innovative diagnostics and therapeutics.

Keywords: quorum sensing peptides; psychiatric disorders; behavior