Michael Lukas

Michael Lukas is a Zoologist by training. He did his PhD and early Post-doc years in behavioral pharmacology and endocrinology. Due to their high translational impact Lukas was mainly interested in the modulatory role of neuropeptides like oxytocin, vasopressin and neuropeptide S in social interactions and social cognition of laboratory rodents. These neuropeptides are ideal targets for preclinical research on social disorders, as they are evolutionary highly conserved in both structure and function throughout most vertebrate species. As most rodent social interactions are highly dependent on olfactory processing of social cues, Lukas currently is investigating modulatory effects of vasopressin on cellular neurotransmission in the olfactory bulb. Thereby he gains insights into the cellular underpinning of the bulbar vasopressin system in odor-guided social behavior and aims to shed light onto the cellular mechanisms of neuropeptide control of cortical and limbic brain structures during social cognition in general.