Carmen Birchmeier

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Carmen Birchmeier

Affiliation

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)

Research Focus

Our lab focuses on the functional analysis of genes and mechanisms that control development and regeneration, concentrating primarily on muscle and the nervous system. We observe how genes control both developmental and regenerative processes in adults, and define molecular mechanisms by genomic and proteomic technologies.

Michael Brecht

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht

Affiliation

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU)

Research Focus

Our research group is active in the field of systems neurobiology and neural computation. We analyze cellular mechanisms underlying sensorimotor integration. The model system we focus on is the active touch/vibrissal system of mammals, pursuing research questions from a strictly systemic, neuroethological perspective. We analyze social behaviors and focus on the meaning of single neuron activity, cellular mechanisms of complex somatosensory-mediated behaviors, spatial representation, and social representations in the forebrain.

Emmanuelle Charpentier

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier

Affiliation

Max-Planck-Forschungsstelle für die Wissenschaft der Pathogene (MPUSP)

Research Focus

Our lab investigates mechanisms of regulation in processes of infection and immunity with a focus on Gram-positive bacterial human pathogens. Understanding these fundamental mechanisms leads to new findings that can be translated into biotechnological and biomedical applications. A successful example is our recent discovery of an RNA-guided DNA cleavage mechanism harnessed as an RNA programmable genome engineering technology that stems from our analysis of the adaptive immune CRISPR-Cas9 system in bacterial pathogens.

Ulrich Dirnagl

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our lab focuses on the regulation of cerebral blood flow and metabolism, cerebral ischemia and endogenous neuroprotection, acute brain inflammation, brain-immune interaction, and brain imaging. In addition, through meta-research and development as well as testing of tools for researchers we work to improve the quality and predictive capacities of translational neuroscience

Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Affiliation

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU)

Research Focus

Our lab focuses on social cognition, empathy, Theory of Mind, and emotion and face recognition. We participate in developing and validating tests and interventions for socio-emotional competencies and empathy, with a focus on decision-making in social contexts, kinesthetic empathy and synchronization, the neuronal correlates of social cognition, and dysfunctions of social cognition in psychiatric disorders such as autism, anxiety and affective disorders. This requires a variety of behavioral and biological measures such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging and psychophysiological measures.

Matthias Endres

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Endres

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

My group is active in the field of stroke research, focusing on the following main areas: preventive vascular mechanisms (endothelial function, physical activity, pharmacology), mechanisms of cell death (cell cycle activation, DNA damage and repair, apoptosis), regeneration and functional outcome (cellular plasticity, neurogenesis), interaction of heart and brain (e.g. stroke-heart syndrome), and clinical studies (stroke unit, telemedicine).

Craig Garner

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Craig Garner

Affiliation

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)

Research Focus

Our group focuses on molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms regulating the dynamic assembly and function of vertebrate CNS synapses. We seek to define the cellular programs that control the dynamic exchange and degradation of pre- and postsynaptic proteins governing the formation, maintenance and integrity of synapses. We seek to understand how genetic and environmental insults adversely influence these programs, leading to synapse dysfunction and/or neuronal degeneration.

Volker Haucke

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Volker Haucke

Affiliation

Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP)

Research Focus

From sensory perception to learning and memory, the functioning of the nervous system is dependent upon communication between neurons. Dysfunction results in neurological and neurodegenerative disorders ranging from autism to epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of exo-endocytosis and endolyososomal membrane dynamics, their role in neurotransmission and the development of synapses, as well as in the aging brain. We combine genetic approaches in mice and human stem-cell-derived neurons with advanced imaging by electron and super-resolution light microscopy, electrophysiology, and biochemical approaches.

Peter Hegemann

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann

Affiliation

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU)

Research Focus

Our group works primarily on the molecular characterization of natural sensory photoreceptors including flavin-based receptors and unusual microbial rhodopsins. Several of these that we have discovered and intensively characterized including channelrhodopsin – are now widely applied in the neurosciences as optogentic actuators. We are engineering many derivatives with modified absorption, kinetics and ion- or substrate selectivity and work on neuronal applications and studies in collaborations with other scientists such as Matthew Larkum, Andrew Plested, Christian Rosenmund, Dietmar Schmitz.

Christine Heim

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Christine Heim

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our research focuses on the psychobiology of stress from a developmental and clinical perspective, with particular interest in elucidating the precise mechanisms involved in the developmental programming of health and disease across the lifespan. We integrate psychological, neuroendocrine, immunological, neural, and molecular measures in humans to identify mechanisms that may underlie and moderate biological embedding of earlylife stress, and which can lead to increased risk for psychiatric and medical disorders. Understanding these mechanisms enables the development of targeted, pathophysiology-derived interventions that block, reverse or compensate these processes.

Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our group is active in the field of monoaminergic dysfunction in psychiatric disorders, combining genetic research, and multimodal brain imaging techniques with monoaminergic dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. dopaminergic dysfunction in alcoholism and schizophrenia), genotype effects on neuroreceptor binding and functional activation in brain imaging, and multimodal brain imagining in psychiatry (PRT, SPECT, fMIR, MRS). We also study concepts of reward, punishment, and motivation in philosophy, neuroscience, and transcultural psychiatry.

Frank Heppner

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Frank Heppner

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our group is active in the field of experimental and clinical neuropathology and neuroscience. We focus on the immunological aspects of neurological disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases and look at the neuroimmune interface and how the immune system impacts neural networks and homeostasis. We also study the impact of neuroinflammation on systemic metabolism, and the biology of microglia.

Thomas Jentsch

Prof. Dr. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Jentsch

Affiliation

Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)

Research Focus

Ion transport across the plasma membrane and limiting membranes of intracellular organelles is crucial for a many cellular functions in all organs, prominently including the nervous system. We have newly identified several ion channels. We study their structure-function relationship and their involvement in basiccellular processes and the organism as a whole. To elucidate their roles in physiology and pathology we make extensive use of sophisticated mouse models and analyze human inherited disease.

Benjamin Judkewitz

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Judkewitz

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our everyday experience of the world is enabled by the interplay of large populations of neurons distributed across the brain. To understand their function, we need to study brain circuits with single cell resolution across large parts of the nervous system. This is challenging in vertebrates due to their size and opacity. We work on two complementarystrategies to address this challenge. First, we develop optical methods to tackle tissue opacity and push the depth limits of microscopy. Second, we are establishing a new vertebrate model organism, Danionella translucida, which has the smallest known vertebrate brain and shows fascinating behavior.

Andrea Kühn

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

We conduct basic and clinical research related to the physiology of cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loops. Several research methodologies are used to record neuronal activity from the basal ganglia and cortex. The principal methodology covers invasive recordings of deep brain activity from different basal ganglia nuclei in humans, which are the targets for DBS electrodes in various pathologies like Parkinson's disease, dystonia, Tourette's syndrome and severe depression. This approach permits intraoperative recordings of single-unit activity via microelectrodes and postoperative recordings of LFP activity via the implanted DBS-macroelectrodes. Corticalactivity is also investigated using EEG and MEG, and the modulation of cortical excitability is studied with TMS.

Matthew Larkum

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Matthew Larkum

Affiliation

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU)

Research Focus

We investigate the computational power of single neurons and their contribution to cortical function. Our main hypothesis is that there is an associative mechanism built into the cortex at the cellular level – dendritic spikes in pyramidal neurons. We explore this hypothesis through a variety of research techniques such as multiple dendritic patch-clamp recordings in vitro, extracellular electrophysiological techniques, somatic and dendritic patch-clamp recordings in vivo, two photon imaging (in vitro and in vivo), rodent behavioral experiments and through optogenetics.

David Owald

Dr.

Dr. David Owald

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our research focuses on olfactory memories in the fruit fly. The fruit fly has a relatively small yet complex brain that offers unrivaled genetic control and means of intervention, thus allowing for the study of neural activity at the level of single neurons. We combine anatomy, genetics, functional 2-photon imaging, electrophysiology, superresolution microscopy, and optogenetics with behavioral approaches to identify and tackle the circuits, synapses and molecular basis of memory and reinforcement learning. Recently, our group has also started investigating the network principles underlying sleep control.

Andrew Plested

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Andrew Plested

Affiliation

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Research Focus

Our research group studies the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter receptors. A primary focus is the study of glutamate receptors in expression systems and central synapses. We employ electrophysiology, structura biology, computational simulations and optical methods like FRET and 2- photon imaging to pursue diverse goals. We are interested in knowing how receptors are activated by glutamate, how their behavior relates to cognition and memory storage and how we can control and visualize synaptic transmission with light.

Ana Pombo

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Ana Pombo

Affiliation

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB)

Research Focus

Our group is interested in understanding the interplay between gene regulation and genome architecture. We work towards defining rules and principles of genome function, and study mechanisms of gene expression at multiple levels. Our research covers a wide spectrum, from the local action of transcription factors, to long-range chromatin looping events that connect regulatory DNA sequences with the genes they regulate. We also look at how whole chromosomes are positioned within cell nuclei.

Nikolaus Rajewsky

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Rajewsky

Affiliation

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB)

Research Focus

Our group combines theoretical/computational and experimental methods towards understanding gene regulation in animals. Our primary focus is on: post-transcriptional gene regulation by small RNAs (e.g., microRNAs) and RNA binding proteins; interdisciplinary approaches employing techniques from molecular biology and biochemistry on different model organisms; and analysis with tools and concepts from bioinformatics, statistics, and physics.

Christian Rosenmund

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Christian Rosenmund

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our laboratory studies basic principles of synaptic transmission with a major focus on the processes of neurotransmitter release. We use electrical and optical recording techniques to study synapses in their function and plasticity. We also use light and electron microscopy to study the structure of synapses, and to study and observe how these structures change during plastic events and under pathophysiological conditions.

Dietmar Schmitz

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Dietmar Schmitz

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our group is active in the field of cellular and systems neuroscience. Some of the areas we concentrate on include the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, and the modulation and development of synaptic transmission, plasticity, and neuronal networks. We also focus on synaptopathy (a disease of the brain, spinal cord or PNS relative to the dysfunction of synapse) and circuit dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Markus Schülke-Gerstenfeld

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Markus Schülke-Gerstenfeld

Affiliation

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Research Focus

Our research focuses on the discovery of novel genetic defects that cause inherited disorders of the nervous system and of neurodevelopment. For this, we use exome and whole genome sequencing techniques and modern bioinformatic tools developed by our group such as HomozygosityMapper and MutationTaster. Once found, these novel disease genes are characterized with regard to their function and pathophysiology through cell and animal models using molecular genetics and high-resolution microscopic imaging techniques.

Stephan Sigrist

Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr. Stephan Sigrist

Affiliation

Freie Universität Berlin (FU)

Research Focus

Our laboratory has provided fundamental insights into the mechanisms of how synapses assemble their particular protein architectures to display their specific functions. Our group is known for its innovative use of new imaging techniques, particularly superresolution light microscopy and intravital live imaging of synaptic protein dynamics. We currently establish causal links at the crossroads between synapse biology and ageinduced memory decline, a considerable medical and socioeconomic problem of our societies.