At the Physiological Genomics department we study the physiology and pathophysiology of the nervous system during development, in adulthood and aging processes. We aim to understand the mechanisms of neuron and glia generation and the formation of their synaptic connections including the neuromuscular junction in health and disease. We study the function of small defined neural circuits in the neocortex with a focus on inhibitory neurons and have developed new approaches to repair these circuits after disease. This is achieved by transplanting new neurons and monitoring their integration or by utilizing the mechanisms we identified for neuronal fate specification during development and implementing these to turn glial cells after brain injury into neurons. We therefore also study the glial cell reaction to injury in order to identify which glial cells mediate wound closure and which are involved in scar formation. This work thus aims at improving the outcome of brain injury by alleviating scar formation and replacing degenerated neurons such that they form synapses and adequately connect to replace circuit function.
To do so we use a broad range of methods, ranging from classic intra- and extracellular electrophysiology and immunhisto- and cytochemistry to state-of-the-art techniques for molecular and cellular biology including FACS, Sequencing, a broad range of viral vector tools and modern imaging techniques such as live in vivo imaging of cells reacting to brain injury or new neurons integrating into circuits as well as optical stimulation and recording methods. We further use a broad range of in vitro culture systems from single cell tracking of dissociated cells such as neural stem cells or slice cultures and acute slice preparations to in vivo studies.
Großhaderner Strasse 9
+49 (0)89 2180 75252