Genetic risk factors for psychiatric disorders are in many cases related to synaptic and neuronal dysfunction. However, due to the complex organization of neuronal circuits, such dysfunction is most often only loosely and indirectly linked to psychiatric symptoms and disease.
Our research interest is to bridge the gap between cellular and systemic neurobiology in order to gain a mechanistic understanding about how synaptic and neuronal dysfunction translates into cognitive deficits in psychiatric disease.
Our approach is an “across scales analysis" of the different levels of neural organization - from molecules via synapses, neurons and neuronal circuits up to behavior and cognitive function. Our model systems are transgenic mice and human neuronal 2D and 3D cultures derived from control and patient iPSCs. We apply state-of-the-art electro- and optophysiological methods, such as in vivo and in vitro 2-photon microscopy, 2-photon calcium imaging and glutamate uncaging, optogenetics, laser-scanning-photostimulation for circuit mapping, correlated light and electron microscopy as well as patch-clamp and multielectrode array recordings.
Our hope is to advance the current knowledge of the neurobiological basis of psychiatric disease as key for the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Offering PhD positions in 2024: Maybe (funding pending).