The nervous system is the most complex organ within the mammalian body consisting of billions of glial and neuronal cells and a tightly organized vascular system. The different cell types interact in various ways – an interplay that results in a highly specialized network. We are interested in the development and later - in the adult organism - the plasticity of the central nervous system with a focus on cell-to-cell communication between neurons and also between neurons and vascular or glial cell types. How do neurons develop, connect and communicate? Which proteome is contained in a synaptic vesicle? Which attractive or repulsive cues guide the outgrowth of axons? Which molecular mechanisms are shared by the nervous and vascular system? What are the signaling pathways governing these mechanisms? Which factors control proliferation, differentiation, migration, or survival of stem cells in the adult brain? We are also translating our knowledge to pathological situations such as the generation, growth, progression and vascularization of brain tumors.
Experimental approaches of our working groups include 1. cell and tissue culture, isolation, culturing and analysis of primary neural stem cells, astrocytes and endothelial cells, organotypic slice culture 2. molecular biological techniques (molecular cloning, PCR, rtPCR, cell transfection, in situ hybridization) 3. protein biochemical techniques (immunoaffinity purification, immunoblotting, separation of membrane proteins by one and two dimensional gel electrophoresis, blue native PAGE, BAC/SDS-PAGE and dSDS-PAGE), preparation of protein sample for mass spectrometric analysis) 4. histological methods (immuno- and enzymehistochemistry) 5. microscopy (CLSM, spinning disc, time-lapse microscopy) 6. in vivo experimental techniques (mouse) 7. analysis of transgenic and genetically modified mouse lines.
We organize and give lectures and courses for both bachelor and master students (Master of Interdisciplinary Neuroscience and Master of Cell Biology and Physiology). If you would like to know more about our courses, please follow the link provided with the name of each lecturer.