Dr Aitak Farzi

Research Officer

After obtaining her degree in Medicine in 2009 from the Medical University of Graz (MUG), Austria, Aitak commenced her PhD within the Research Unit of Translational Neurogastroenterology at the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology of the MUG, investigating the effects of immune modulation on brain function and behaviour in the context of the microbiota–gut–brain axis.

In 2015 she started her postdoctoral studies in the Eating Disorders Lab, investigating the central circuits through which neuropeptides control appetite and food intake.

Research Interests

Gut-Brain Axis
Food intake and metabolism
Mood and behaviour
Gut Microbiota

Awards and Honours

2015 - Initiative Brain Research Styria Research Award (category Best Publication)
2012 - European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Travel Award


2015 - PhD, Medical University of Graz - Austria
2009 - MD, Medical University of Graz - Austria

Selected Publications

Jain, P., Hassan, A.M., Koyani, C.N., Mayerhofer, R., Reichmann, F., Farzi, A., Schuligoi, R., Malle, E., Holzer, P. Behavioral and molecular processing of visceral pain in the brain of mice: impact of colitis and psychological stress. Front Behav Neurosci. 2015; 9:177-177.

Reichmann, F., Hassan, A.M., Farzi, A., Jain, P., Schuligoi, R., Holzer, P. Dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis alters stress-associated behaviour and neuropeptide gene expression in the amygdala-hippocampus network of mice. Sci Rep. 2015; 5:9970-9970

Farzi, A., Halicka, J., Mayerhofer, R., Fröhlich, E.E., Tatzl, E. & Holzer, P. Toll-like receptor 4 contributes to the inhibitory effect of morphine on colonic motility in vitro and in vivo. Sci Rep. 2015; 5: 9499.

Farzi, A., Reichmann, F. & Holzer, P. The homeostatic role of neuropeptide Y in immune function and its impact on mood and behavior. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2015; 213(3):603-627.

Farzi, A., Reichmann, F., Meinitzer, A., Mayerhofer, R., Jain, P., Hassan, A.M., Frohlich, E.E., Wagner, K., Painsipp, E., Rinner, B. & Holzer, P. Synergistic effects of NOD1 or NOD2 and TLR4 activation on mouse sickness behavior in relation to immune and brain activity markers. Brain Behav Immun. 2015; 44:106-120.

Hassan, A.M., Jain, P., Reichmann, F., Mayerhofer, R., Farzi, A., Schuligoi, R. & Holzer, P. Repeated predictable stress causes resilience against colitis-induced behavioral changes in mice. Front Behav Neurosci. 2014; 8: 386-386. 

Brunner, S.M., Farzi, A., Locker, F., Holub, B.S., Drexel, M., Reichmann, F., Lang, A.A., Mayr, J.A., Vilches, J.J., Navarro, X., Lang, R., Sperk, G., Holzer, P. & Kofler, B. GAL3 receptor KO mice exhibit an anxiety-like phenotype. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(19): 7138-7143.

Holzer, P. & Farzi, A. Neuropeptides and the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 817: 195-219.

Painsipp, E., Kofer, M.J., Farzi, A., Dischinger, U.S., Sinner, F., Herzog, H. & Holzer, P. Neuropeptide Y and peptide YY protect from weight loss caused by Bacille Calmette-Guerin in mice. Br J Pharmacol. 2013; 170(5):1014-1026.

Holzer, P., Reichmann, F. & Farzi, A. Neuropeptide Y, peptide YY and pancreatic polypeptide in the gut-brain axis. Neuropeptides 2012; 46(6):261-274.