IZN Seminar


Biomaterial-supported transplantation of astrocytes aids scaffold integration and promotes axonal regrowth in the acutely injured rat spinal cord

Thomas Schackel
(AG Puttagunta)


Regulation of SHANK expression in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders

Simone Berkel (AG Rappold)


Im Neuenheimer Feld 306, Heidelberg



Neurobiology / SFB1134 Lecture
@ SR25, INF328


Prefrontal circuits for decision making

Thomas Klausberger
Center for Brain Research,
Division for Cognitive Neurobiology,
Medical University of Vienna, Austria


The distributed temporal activity in neuronal circuits of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus combines emotional information with episodic and spatial memory to guide behavioural action. The cerebral cortex consists of highly diverse neuronal types with distinct synaptic connectivity, molecular expression profile and contribution to network activity. Neurons can be divided into excitatory pyramidal cells, which use glutamate as a neurotransmitter and give both local and long-range axonal projections, and inhibitory interneurons, which are GABAergic and control the activity and timing of pyramidal cells mainly through local axons. These neurons can be further subdivided on the basis of their distinct axo-dendritic arborisations, subcellular post-synaptic targets, and by their differential expression of signalling molecules, including receptors, ion channels, neuropeptides, transcription factors and Ca2+ binding proteins. We aim to determine how distinct types of neuron support the computational operations of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

We have recorded from identified GABAergic interneurons and pyramidal cells in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus using the juxtacellular recording and labelling technique. We investigated their contribution to network oscillations and various behavioural tasks involving working memory and decision making. The neuronal identity was determined with post-hoc histochemical analysis. Our results indicate that GABAergic interneurons release GABA at distinct times to different domains of pyramidal cells contributing to the formation of cell assemblies and representations in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.


Im Neuenheimer Feld 328, Heidelberg



IZN Seminar


Sympathetic nervous system in skeletal muscle: distribution, postnatal development and effects

Tatjana Straka (AG Rudolf)



The role of Angiopoietins during the development of the cerebellum – Neuro-Vascular-Glia-Communication

Robert Luck (AG Ruiz de Almodóvar)


Im Neuenheimer Feld 306, Heidelberg


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EMBL researchers discover that four organs in a marine worm’s head can sense different chemicals

Internal anatomy of a marine worm’s head. In blue is seen the individual cell nuclei and all nervous fibres are seen in green. IMAGE: Thomas Chartier and Wiebke Dürichen /EMBL

We sense the world around us using primarily our eyes, ears and nose. Marine worms, on the other hand, have long been thought to understand the world very differently – primarily by detecting chemicals in the ocean water that surrounds them – although this has not been investigated in detail. Now, researchers in the Arendt group have recorded nerve cell activity in the head of marine worms. The worm’s small size and transparency, means that all of the nerves and neurons within the head can be imaged at once. They found that these cells located in four particular areas of the head reacted when the worms were exposed to different chemicals. Alcohols, sugars, amino acids and an ester that smells like pears were tested. Reporting in Open Biology, the group identified these four areas of the head as the worm’s chemosensory organs, capable of detecting different chemicals in the surrounding environment. The worm’s antennae could detect each chemical equally well, whereas three other organs responded to each chemical differently. These chemosensory organs could help the worm go about its daily business of eating, escaping from prey or reproducing. More...

Protection For Nerve Cells Delivered Through The Nose

Brain sections of control-treated (bottom) and nasal Activin A-treated (top) mice after a stroke. The white line marks the border between the healthy and damaged brain regions.

Material and picture:
Dr Bettina Buchthal

Protective proteins that mitigate the destruction of nerve cells after a stroke can be administered into the brain through the nose, as Heidelberg University researchers demonstrated using a mouse model.

The team led by Prof. Dr Hilmar Bading is laying the scientific groundwork for new forms of therapy that inhibit degenerative processes in humans. Prof. Bading's team is concentrating on the body's own neuroprotective mechanisms. The most recent results of their work were published in “Molecular Therapy”.

In cooperation with Dr. Bettina Buchthal and Ursula Weiß, Prof. Bading was able to demonstrate that nasal administration paves the way for new treatment approaches for neurodegenerative diseases. They verified this concept using a mouse model. According to Hilmar Bading, mice who received this treatment exhibited less brain damage after a stroke in certain regions of the brain.


Special Issue "150 Years of Motor Endplate: Molecules, Cells, and Relevance of a Model Synapse"


Guest Editor: Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Rudolf Externer Inhalt

Dear Colleagues,

More than 150 years after the terms ‘plaques nerveuses terminales’ and ‘motorische Endplatte’ were coined by Charles Rouget and Wilhelm Krause, respectively, the neuromuscular synapse continues to be crucial for the musculoskeletal and neural sciences. Having always served as a model in terms of morphological and molecular configuration of chemical synapses, recent research has renewed an interest in the involvement of the motor endplate in general systemic functions of muscle beyond inducing contraction. Along these lines, the endplate has lately also attracted increasing attention with respect to its role in pathophysiology and aging.

This Special Issue of Cells will focus on the progress in understanding the molecular and cellular frameworks that regulate and mediate formation, maintenance, and repair of the motor endplate in normal physiology and upon pathological conditions. Further, it will address consequences of these insights on treatment of neuromuscular diseases and muscle wasting conditions.

Dr. Rüdiger Rudolf
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information



Open positions at the IZN

  • The research group of Dr. Annarita Patrizi is searching for a highly motivated PhD student to identify intrinsic and extrinsic factors essential for development and refinement of the cortical brain circuit during normal and pathological states. The project combines state-of-the-art transcriptomic, proteomic and complex co-culture methods. Adobe
    posted 11.2018

  • Dr. Moritz Mall's team is expanding and is looking for a highly motivated recently graduated top-level PhD with a strong background in neuroscience. The project aims to understand the role of cell identity loss in brain malignancies and mental disorders that affect millions of patients worldwide and are a major medical and economic challenge to our modern society. More information can be found here.
    posted 10.2018

  • The group of Dr. Alexander Groh is looking for an outstanding scientist for the group who will lead projects, supervise students/postdocs and participate in teaching physiology (2 SWS). As this will be a key position for the group, highly motivated and ideally young candidates who will use this opportunity as a stepping stone to develop independence and to pursue an academic career are being sought. Adobe
    posted 10.2018

  • The research group of Prof. Wolfgang Sommer is searching for students to work as research assistants (HiWi, 40h/month). The group is part of the Institute for Psychopharmacology at the Central Institute of Mental Health (ZI Mannheim). Our research group is interested in the cellular and molecular basis of alcohol- and reward-seeking behavior in rats. Furthermore we are interested to characterize changes in animal behavior and cognitive functions after chronic alcohol exposure. Adobe
    posted 10.2018

  • The group of Prof. Draguhn at the Institute for Physiology and Pathophysiology is looking for a scientific research associate for neurophysiology. The applicant should be interested in studying neuronal network oscillations and functional ensembles in the hippocampus and adjacent brain areas of the rodent. The work will be at the cellular, network and behavioral levels, both in vitro and in vivo. In addition to research, the work will include teaching medical students the whole field of physiology. Adobe
    posted 09.2018

  • The Center for Biomedicine and Medical Technology Mannheim (CBTM) is seeking a full-time scientific assistant in the Department of Neurophysiology (Prof. Treede). The focus of the group is on translational pain research (models of back pain and nerve pain, diabetes consequences, signal transduction). Adobe
    posted 09.2018

  • The group of Prof.Dr. Beate Niesler is seeking a Master Thesis student to work on neurogastroenterologic disorders, resulting impairments of the enteric nervous system (ENS), the 'second brain' in our gut, and the elucidation of underlying pathomechanisms. Adobe
    posted 07.2018

  • The Department of Experimental Pain Research at the Medical Faculty Mannheim (Prof.Dr. Martin Schmelz) is offering a PhD position in a project funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG) entitled 'Selective activation of nociceptor sub-groups by slowly depolarizing electrical stimuli'. Adobe
    posted 07.2018

  • The research group of Dr. Kevin Allen is seeking a student to work as a research assistant (HiWi) on the neuronal basis of spatial behavior. The group is interested in the spatial representations generated within the mammalian brain and their contributions to spatial behavior and memory. The spatial representations generated by grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex are a prominent example. The student will acquire experience in a wide array of techniques, including in vivo tetrode recordings in mice, data analysis, and histological analysis. Adobe
    posted 07.2018

  • The Functional Neuroanatomy group of Prof. Dr. Thomas Kuner is searching for a highly motivated PhD student to investigate the synaptic nanoarchitecture with a focus on the distribution of synaptic vesicle proteins. The project will employ a super-resolution microscopy setup (3D /d/STORM) equipped with an automated pipetting system. Adobe

    Furthermore, a Master or an MD position is open for a sub-project intended to delineate the ultrastructural organization of active zones. Adobe posted 07.2018
  • The research group of Prof. Andreas Draguhn is offering a PhD position to help untangle the molecular mechanisims by which Bcl11b/Ctip2 regulates development, maintenance and network-level functions of mossy fiber connectivitiy in CA3. The project combines state-of-the-art molecular, ultrastructural as well as electrophysiological strategies, and it will qualify PhD students both in the field of molecular/cellular neurobiology as well as cellular/systems neurophysiology. Adobe posted 06.2018
  • A PhD position is open at the Department of Neurophysiology lead by Prof. Treede to validate electrophysiological techniques on human models of pain. The main objective of the work is to improve the translatability of recordings in pain pathways of healthy subjects and preclinical species. The successful candidate will investigate the analgesic effects in the brain, the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system. Adobe posted 05.2018
  • The research group of Dr. Sidney Cambridge (Department of Functional Neuroanatomy, Prof.Dr. Thomas Kuner) is looking for a highly motivated and well-trained student (f/m) for a Masters research project in cellular neurophysiology. The project will involve genetic manipulation of neuronal activity in a small population and assessing network changes in activity as compensatory homeostatic mechanisms. Adobe posted 05.2018
  • A PhD position in Neurobiology and Alzheimer Research is available in the laboratory of Prof. Ulrike Müller Externer Inhalt studying the synaptic roles of the APP gene family and their processing products. Techniques employed include state-of-the-art molecular biology, biochemistry, imaging and work with genetically modified mouse mutants (gain and loss of function studies) and viral vectors. Adobe posted 04.2018
  • The Ruiz de Almodóvar group is interested in the mechanisms of neurovascular development in mice and is looking for a motivated HiWi student to help with basic experimental techniques such as mouse genotyping, cell culture and histology. Adobe posted 03.2018
  • The Developmental Neurobiology group of Prof. Elisabeth Pollerberg is looking for a highly motivated postdoc whose project will focus on the interactions of cell adhesion molecules with other types of proteins and the impact of these interactions on axon elongation and navigation. Substantial amounts of data have already been collected for several projects and the postdoc is expected to complete and publish these studies. In addition, a new translational project could be started aiming at the improvement of axon regeneration. Adobe posted 02.2018



Managing Director:
Prof. Dr. Hilmar Bading
IZN-Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 1.OG
D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16500
Fax:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16524
email:  Bading@nbio.uni-heidelberg.de


Dr. Otto Bräunling
IZN-Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 1.OG
D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16502, 56 39007
Fax:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16524
email:  Braeunling@nbio.uni-heidelberg.de


Administration & Information:
Irmela Meng
IZN-Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 1.OG
D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16501
Fax:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16524
email:  Sekretariat@nbio.uni-heidelberg.de

Webmaster contact: WebmasterIZN@uni-heidelberg.de
Latest Revision: 2018-11-12
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