News

Tatjana Tchumatchenko (C03)

3rd September 2020 : Tatjana Tchumatchenko, Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, has received this prestigious grant for her MolDynForSyn project. She is one of the twelve 2020 laureates currently working at the Max Planck Society.

According to Tatjana Tchumatchenko, “This project will address questions that are at the core of neural circuit function and will improve our understanding of long-term memory mechanisms and numerous neurological diseases that are associated with neuronal trafficking pathologies or protein synthesis dysfunction.”

Erin Schuman (B01)

13th July 2020 : Erin Schuman has been awarded the Diversity prize 2020 for her contribution to advancing gender equality in brain research. The prize highlights a scientist or group that has made outstanding contributions to promoting diversity in brain sciences and is a partnership between the ALBA Network and the FENS Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE), with the support of the FENS CHET (Committee of Higher Education and Training of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies).

Erin Schuman received the award for her constant efforts in fostering gender equality in neuroscience. Among other issues, she has been very active in reducing the burden of childcare - that often falls more heavily on women. While working at Caltech, she was a pioneer in implementing the policy to automatically extend tenure clocks for parents. When taking on her position at the Max Planck Institute, she pushed for the creation of a childcare facility on campus and for local infant care. Erin Schuman stressed the importance of continuing to work on increasing diversity in science: “The notion of diversity is important in life, particularly in science, where we rely on creativity to generate new hypotheses in order to learn how the brain works. To make use of only one half the population, one half of the brain power, will slow us down.”

Erin Schuman (B01)

28th April 2020 : The National Academy of Sciences is recognizing Erin Schuman for her outstanding contributions to neuronal cell biology and has elected Erin Schuman, director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt, Germany) to their membership. Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. The election results were announced on April 27, 2020. More information here.

Tatjana Tchumatchenko (C03)

20th April 2020 : Tatjana Tchumatchenko has been appointed Fellow of the Young Academy of Europe. Since 2013, Tatjana Tchumatchenko has mentored over thirty MSc, BSc and PhD students and plays an active role in encouraging women in science by introducing integrative plans in multiple institutions. Her research is funded by notable institutions including the Max Planck Society, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Hessian Ministry of Science and Arts. She has further been awarded several prizes and grants to support her work including the Dollwet Foundation Award in 2016, the Behrens-Weise-Foundation Award in 2013, and the Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Prize in 2016. Recently, she was selected by the Focus Magazine as one of 25 young innovators who will shape Germany in the next 25 years.

Christof Niehrs (A06)

24th March 2020 : The team of Christof Niehrs at the Institute of Molecular Biology has reported in Nature Chemical Biology that adenine methylation - a chemical modification of DNA - may not act as a heritable epigenetic mark in mammals, unlike cytosine methylation. As Christof Niehrs reported, “Mammalian DNA contains at least 5 different nucleic acid modifications, and we are only just beginning to understand their roles in the genome. However, this finding shows that not every modification necessarily has an epigenetic function – some may just be errors in DNA, and findings should always be interpreted with caution.”

Gilles Laurent (C04)

12th February 2020 : A team led by Gilles Laurent has found in reptiles a brain area previously suspected to play a role in mammalian higher cognitive processes, and establish its role in controlling brain dynamics in sleep. The state of unified perception characteristic of a conscious state in humans appears to require widespread coordination of the forebrain and thus, the existence of a physical and anatomical substrate for this coordination. The mammalian claustrum, a thin sheet of brain tissue hidden beneath the inner layers of the neocortex, is widely interconnected with the rest of the forebrain (a fact known from classical neuroanatomy). For this reason, the claustrum has been seen as a good candidate for such widespread coordination and hypothesized to mediate functions ranging from decision making to consciousness . Until now, a claustrum had been identified only in the brain of mammals. More information here.

Erin Schuman (B01)

21st January 2020 : The 2020 Louis-Jeantet Prizes are awarded to Erin Schuman, director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and jointly to Graziella Pellegrini and Michele de Luca, from the Centre for Regenerative Medicine “Stefano Ferrari” in Modena, Italy. The prize-winners are conducting fundamental and translational research that is of considerable significance for medicine. The award ceremony was held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020.

Alexander Gottschalk (B02)

16th September 2019 : To understand the function of individual neurons in the plexus, researchers in the lab of Alexander Gottschalk used genetic engineering to cause them to produce light-sensitive proteins. With these “photo-switches", the neurons can be activated or turned off in the transparent threadworm C. elegans using light radiation of a certain wavelength. “When we saw that the worm froze when this neuron was stimulated by light, we were quite amazed. It was the beginning of a study that took several years," Alexander Gottschalk recalls. “We think that neurons with a double function exist in numerous simple life forms such as the worm. In the course of evolution they were then assigned to two different systems in the brain and further developed," says Gottschalk. It's a theme that will certainly be found to recur once other nerve cells of the worm are better understood. “The nervous system of C. elegans can be viewed as a kind of evolutionary test bed. If it works there, it will be used again and further refined in more complex animals." More information here.

Tatjana Tchumatchenko (C03)

24th July 2019 : A new study featuring a collaboration between the Tchumatchenko (C03) and Schuman (B01) Labs, computational and experimental neuroscientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research. The original paper by Yombe Fonkeu, Nataliya Kraynyukova, Anne-Sophie Hafner, Lisa Kochen, Fabio Sartori, Erin M. Schuman, and Tatjana Tchumatchenko is entitled 'How mRNA Localization and Protein Synthesis Sites Influence Dendritic Protein Distribution and Dynamics’ was published on Tuesday, July 23rd in Neuron. More information here.

Erin Schuman (B01)

16th May 2019 : An interesting new paper from the Schuman (B01) lab at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt. The paper by Anne-Sophie Hafner, Paul G. Donlin-Asp, Beulah Leitch, Etienne Herzog, and Erin M. Schuman is entitled ‘Local protein synthesis is a ubiquitous feature of neuronal pre- and postsynaptic compartments’ and will be published on May 17 in Science. More information here and here.

Gilles Laurent (C04)

28th March 2019 : With this prestigious grant of about 2.5 million Euro, Gilles Laurent, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (MPI-BR) since 2009, will study the role of the claustrum and brain stem in sleep control and the evolution of sleep in vertebrate animals using reptilian model systems.

Erin Schuman (B01)

25th March 2019 : The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has recently awarded a prestigious fellowship to Chao Sun from the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research to support their research. Chao Sun started his research in the Schuman Lab in August 2018.

Frauke Zipp (C01)

10th January 2019 : A team led by Frauke Zipp and Krishnaraj Rajalingam of the Mainz University Medical Center found that there was significant upregulation of the proteins prohibitin 1 and 2 on the surfaces of interleukin-17 (IL-17) producing Th17 cells, a subpopulation of T cells. IL-17 is a protein secreted by a unique population of immune cells. "The increased surface expression of prohibitin 1 and 2 was associated with a similarly elevated activity of the MAP kinase CRAF and downstream MAP-kinase signal transduction. We were not only able to observe this in healthy individuals but also in Th17 cells of patients suffering from MS," Professor Frauke Zipp, Director of the Department of Neurology at the Mainz University Medical Center, pointed out. MAP kinases are activated by growth factors. They initiate a multi-stage signaling cascade, which, as a signaling pathway, regulates fundamental biological processes such as cell growth. In many cancer-related disorders, components of this signaling pathway are modified, which, among other things, can promote greater proliferation of tumor cells. More information here.

Christof Niehrs (A06)

8th January 2019 : The groups of Christof Niehrs from the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz and Ingrid Grummt from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have uncovered a new way in which cells control gene activity. In a paper in Nature Genetics, they describe a mechanism for how R-loops regulate gene expression. R-loops are interwoven strands of RNA and DNA and the groups show how R-loops are read and interpreted by the protein GADD45A as an important mechanism for gene regulation. R-loops are formed when RNA slides between the two strands of DNA, binding to one and pushing the other out into a single-stranded loop. Until recently, R-loops have often been thought of only for their negative aspects, such as disrupting genome stability or mutating DNA

Kanae Foundation Grant and Inoue Research Award (C04)

21st December 2018 : Postdoc Hiroaki Norimoto from the Giles Laurent (C04) lab has been awarded a grant from Kanae Foundation as well as the prestigious Inoue Research Award for Young Scientists. The grant from the Kanae Foundation is especially for young scientists to work abroad. Hiroaki Norimoto received his grant to study circuit mechanisms of memory consolidation in ex vivo reptilian whole brain tissue. The Inoue Research Award for Young Scientists is awarded to young Japanese scientists who have received their doctoral degree less than three years ago. We congratulate Hiroaki on both achievements.

Benedikt Berninger (A05)

11th December 2018 : A research team led by Benedikt Berninger of the Institute of Physiological Chemistry at the Mainz University Medical Center has now produced new findings that may also help identifying what goes awry with glia in neurodegeneration. They studied how glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells. The researchers discovered that differentiation involves three stages and that three proteins in the cell nucleus, so-called transcription factors, play a key role in organizing glia-specific transcription of the genes in the cell nucleus. The new findings have recently been published in Cell Stem Cell. More information here.

Alexander Gottschalk (B02)

5th November 2018 : How does our nervous system motivate us to get off the sofa and walk to the fridge, or even to the supermarket, to get food? A research team led by Alexander Gottschalk from Goethe University investigated this using the threadworm Caenorhabditis elegans. The results indicate how foraging behaviour in higher animals might have evolved. Alexander Gottschalk and his team focused in this study on a neuronal circuit involving a pair of sensory nerve cells that detect the presence of food, and release the neuromodulator dopamine. This dopamine signal affects two types of downstream neurons, termed DVA and AVK and, as the team discovered, it does so in opposing ways. Dopamine activates DVA, promoting dwelling and local search behaviour, while inhibiting AVK, which promotes dispersal and long-range search behaviour. Specifically, this takes place by DVA and AVK signalling to further downstream motoneurons, which in turn control muscle activity. More information here.

Amparo Acker-Palmer (B04)

24th August 2018 : The group of Amparo Acker-Palmer at the Buchmann Institute of Molecular Life Sciences and the Institute of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Goethe University reported in a Research Article in the last issue of the journal Science a novel function of blood vessels in orchestrating the proper development of neuronal cellular networks in the brain. It is known that vascularization of the brain is necessary to provide neurons and glial cells with oxygen and nutrients important for the metabolic support of neuronal networks. “For several years, we knew that the vascular and nervous systems used very similar vocabulary to develop and function and therefore we postulated that such a common vocabulary could be used to ensure that both systems co-developed in synchroneity and communicated with each other for proper brain function,” explained Amparo Acker-Palmer. More information here.

Benedikt Berninger (A05)

2nd July 2018 : Benedikt Berninger and his team have discovered that on the way to becoming neurons pericytes need to go through a neural stem cell-like state. They succeeded in manipulating the signaling pathways in this intermediate state, which enabled them to either activate or inhibit neuronal reprogramming. The discovery may be the key to future possibilities of regenerating diseased brain tissue by directly reprogramming non-neuronal cells into neurons. The findings were recently published in Nature Neuroscience. More information here.

Christof Niehrs (A06)

28th April 2016 : The American Academy of Arts and Sciences - one of the oldest and most prestigious honorary learned societies in the world - has elected IMB’s Founding Director Christof Niehrs as a Foreign Honorary Member. “I am honoured to have been elected to join such an exceptional group of scholars”, said Christof Niehrs, “and I am very much looking forward to participating in the Academy’s activities.” Other members of the 2016 class include winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize, MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, the Fields Medal as well as the Grammy and National Book Awards.

Christof Niehrs (A06)

19th April 2018 : The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Christof Niehrs from the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz a highly prestigious ERC Advanced Grant. These grants go to established leaders to enable the pursuit of unproven ideas that have the potential to lead to major discoveries. Christof Niehrs is the Founding Director of IMB and will use the funding, worth €2 million, to pursue research into epigenetic gene regulation. As Christof explains: “This ERC grant gives us the opportunity to dive deeply into the world of RNA regulation of epigenetic states. Over the next five years, we want to open a new chapter in epigenetic regulation, especially in the stem cell pluripotency and differentiation.”

Frauke Zipp (C01)

5th March 2018 : Timo Uphaus and Frauke Zipp from project C01 collaborated with Catherine Larochelle of the University of Montreal and Mirko Schmidt (project A03) and researchers of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) to discover that CNS inflammation was accompanied by an increased release of EGFL7. Immune cells subsequently bind to EGFL7, in a sense being taken prisoner so that they are prevented from crossing into the CNS. EGFL7 is released by the endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier and causes immune cells to be retained in the perivascular space. In their model trials, the researchers next found that exposure to EGLF7 makes the blood-brain barrier less permeable. In the presence of this more effective barrier, the passage of immune cells into the CNS was reduced. This counteracted the corresponding pathological mechanisms and thus led to improvements in clinical symptoms. Furthermore, the researchers were able to confirm their experimental findings in a human blood-brain barrier model, where there was also decreased migration of immune cells in isolated human endothelial cells. They now conclude that it might be possible in principle to take advantage of the way that EGFL7 inhibits the migration of immune cells into the CNS and enhances the impenetrability of the blood-brain barrier for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. More information here.

Erin Schuman (B01)

9th April 2017 : Erin Schuman has received her second ERC Advanced Grant. With this prestigious grant of 2.5 million Euro, Erin Schuman, Director at the Frankfurt-based Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (MPI-BR) since 2009, will study extended functions of the ribosome, the protein-making machine, in neurons. Ribosomes are complex, yet conserved, multiprotein machines and Erin Schuman's team will study how they are specialized to synthesize proteins in the distal aspects of neuronal dendrites. More information here.

Erin Schuman (B01)

13 February 2017 : The labs of Erin Schuman at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Alexander Heckel at the Goethe University have shown that neurons have solved the abundance problem by moving the site of microRNA maturation (or “birth”) away from the cytoplasm out to the dendrites, thin processes, which are closer to where synapses are. This puts the newly born microRNA into much smaller environment with fewer mRNA target options. “By moving the birthplace of the microRNA to the dendrites and synapses where it is closer to its targets, neurons have solved the microRNA-mRNA numbers game and gained a way for external events-resulting in the activation of synapses, to control the local expression of important brain molecules which is important for neuronal communication and also for memory formation”, explained Erin Schuman. More information here.

All Projects

8th December 2016 : The German Research Foundation (DFG) will be providing financial support to the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1080 on "Molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuronal homeostasis" for four more years. In addition to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Goethe University Frankfurt as the CRC's speaker university, the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, and the Mainz-based Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) are participating in this research center. A total of some EUR 12 million is being made available in the new funding period that will commence on January 1, 2017. More information here.

Frauke Zipp (C01)

14th September 2016 : Frauke Zipp from the Department of Neurology at the Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has co-led a team that has identified a new mechanism that is involved in the development of autoimmune diseases. On the basis of this new insight, it may prove possible to create innovative treatments for disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS). More information here.

Susann Schweiger (B10)

8th December 2015 : Mainz University Medical Center opens a Center for Rare Diseases that bundles clinical experience in particular in the area of the nervous system. It will create an infrastructure which enables better recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of rare diseases with manifestations in the nervous system according to international standards. The rare diseases treated at the new Mainz-based center include, for example, neuromuscular diseases, genetic epilepsy, and systemic metabolic disorders with partial or exclusive neuropsychiatric symptoms as well as mitochondriopathies, which are expressed as disorders of metabolism through functional affectations of the cellular power plant.

The spokesperson of the new Center for Rare Diseases of the Nervous System will be Professor Susann Schweiger, the Director of the Institute of Human Genetics of the Mainz University Medical Center.

Jochen Roeper (A11)

9th October 2015 : A research group co-led by Jochen Roeper at the Institute for Neurophysiology at the Goethe University, in collaboration with researchers from Frankfurt's Experimental Neurology Group and from Freiburg University, demonstrated for the first time how sensitive dopaminergic substantia nigra neurons functionally respond to toxic proteins in a genetic mouse model. A mutated a-synculein gene (A53T), which causes Parkinson's Disease in humans, is expressed in the mouse model. The group also identified a regulatory protein, an ion channel, which is causes the increase in electric activity and the associated stress in nerve cells in response to oxidative damage. This channel provides a direct new target protein for the neuroprotection of dopaminergic neurons. In brain slices, the dysfunction of this ion channel acting as an "electric brake" for dopamine neurons was reversible just by adding redox buffers. If therapeutic drugs could reduce the channel´s redox sensitivity in future mouse models, the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra might be prevented. Currently, the researchers are studying whether similar processes occur with other Parkinson genes and in aging itself. "The long-term objective is to investigate the extent to which these results from mice might be transferred to humans," says Roeper. More information here.

Alexander Gottschalk (B02)

8th October 2015 : A research group, led by Alexander Gottschalk at the Institute of Biochemistry and the Buchmann Institute at the Goethe University, has developed a simple model using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that can be used to test substances for treating genetically-mediated cardiac arrhythmias. They used the nematode feeding apparatus for this purpose, a rhythmically active muscle pump that resembles the muscle cells in the mammalian heart. This could be an important step on the road to personalised treatment. The group used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans because it is easy to modify it genetically. The goal is to use the worm to search for new active substances for other types of arrhythmia. These could even potentially be patient-specific if the exact mutation is transferred to the worm. The ease of genetic mutability of the nematode is highly advantageous in this regard when compared to a mouse model, which would be very difficult to generate. In order to facilitate the search for new medications, the researchers also developed a new optical method with which several animals can be analysed in parallel. More information here.

Alexander Gottschalk (B02)

15th September 2015 : The research group under Alexander Gottschalk reports in the current edition of the journal "Nature Communications" that the CyclOp produces the second messenger cGMP when exposed to light. This important cellular signal is involved in vision, regulating blood pressure, induced cell death and also male erection. The compound Viagra, for example, leads to an increase in the cGMP level in the cells. If CyclOp is introduced to an organism like the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, then one can specifically study cGMP-dependent signal pathways within the cell. This allows optogenetics to go a step beyond previous research. "The light-activated enzyme CyclOp has outstanding molecular properties which qualify it as a valuable addition to the optogenetics toolbox for cell biologists and neurobiologists", explains Alexander Gottschalk from the Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (BMLS) at Goethe University. His research group has introduced the protein into oxygen sensing cells in order to find out what role the second messenger cGMP plays in these cells. To do so, the translucent nematode is exposed to light leading to intracellular generation of cGMP. The cells respond by acting as if they had detected an increase in the oxygen level. In this way the researchers can use CyclOp to get a better understanding of how the natural signal for these cells is turned into a cellular response. More information here.

Benedikt Berninger (A05)

8th July 2015 : “Cortical Circuits” – Benedikt Berninger

In July 2015 at the IBRO 9th World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Benedikt Berninger gave the following talk: Cortical circuits: Anatomical, physiological and computational approaches to understanding function and plasticity.

Amparo Acker-Palmer (B04)

12th May 2015 : Amparo Acker-Palmer performs groundbreaking research on the communication between neurons and blood vessel cells in the brain, hoping to use her findings to gain important insights into brain diseases such as dementia and mental illness. The European Research Council will fund her project with an Advanced Investigator Grant of 2.5 million Euros over the next five years.

Amparo Acker-Palmer's team plans to assess these processes in the layering of the cerebral cortex during embryonic development. Here, neuronal cells migrate in an inside out manner, while blood vessels grow in the opposite direction, from the pial surface towards the ventricular surface. Since these two growth processes are coordinated, Acker-Palmer suspects that they are controlled by the same signaling molecules. How dysfunction in the crosstalk may lead to cognitive impairments is one of the focuses of her research. More information here.

Alexander Gottschalk (B02)

24th March 2015 : Optogenetics is a new field of research that introduces light-sensitive proteins into cells in a genetically targeted manner, for example, to obtain information on signalling pathways and the function of neurons in a living organism. A new priority program supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under the auspices of Goethe University has now set itself the goal of developing the next generation of optogenetic tools and expanding their application both in basic research and also for medical purposes. "Optogenetics already has many applications in basic research, but as a technology it is still in its infancy," explains Alexander Gottschalk. In order to achieve more widespread use of optogenetics in cell biology and neurobiology, the researchers want to develop new optogenetic tools. These will have higher light sensitivity, clarify the processes within individual cells and between different cells, and ultimately also be tested in animal models. This is necessary, especially with regard to medical applications; for example, for the enabling treatment of certain vision and hearing impairments or aspects of previously incurable diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders, or cardiac diseases. More information here.

Christian Behl and Albrecht Clement (B09)

12th March 2015 : A study by researchers at the Institute of Pathobiochemistry at the Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Christian Behl and Albrecht Clement - has produced no evidence that these fields can cause exacerbation or accelerated disease development in relevant mouse models. Neither learning behavior nor known disease mechanisms at the cellular level were affected. The results of the study have been published in the eminent journal Scientific Reports of the Nature Publishing Group. More information here.

Jochen Roeper (A11)

10th February 2015 : Eleanor Simpson and Jochen Roeper - in cooperation with the mathematician Gaby Schneider of the Goethe University and the physiologist Birgit Liss of the University of Ulm - have succeeded in defining the neurophysiological impairments with the dopamine system. They were able to show, with single cell recordings in the intact brain of mice, that those dopamine midbrain neurons responsible for emotional and cognitive processing displayed altered patterns and frequencies of electrical activity. In contrast, adjacent dopamine neurons, which are involved in motor control, were not affected. They were also able to show that – in line with the persistence of cognitive deficits in mice and patients– the pathological discharge patterns of dopamine neurons persisted even after the causal transgene had been switched off in adult mice. "This result emphasizes the presence of a critical early phase for the development of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia" explained Jochen Roeper, "Our results show that altered neuronal activity of selective dopamine neurons is crucial for schizophrenia". More information here.

Christian Behl (B09)

4th February 2015 : A team co-lead by Christian Behl showed that the RAB3GAP complex has a decisive influence on the process of protein degradation and represents an important element of the cellular autophagy network. Autophagy is a process in which cells digest their own components. These could be excessive or damaged organelles, such as mitochondria, invading pathogens, such as viruses or bacteria, or cytoplasmic macromolecules. Autophagy serves on the one hand for the recycling of the building blocks of cells and the provision of energy, but is also activated specifically in stress situations. "The controlled protein degradation by autophagy is a core aspect of protein homoeostasis, which means the complex interplay between the formation, folding, and decomposition of proteins. We have extended our understanding of age-related disorders by identifying new factors involved in this process," said Professor Christian Behl. More info here.

Thomas Mittmann (C02)

12th December 2014 : A team of scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), which included Thomas Mittmann, have discovered a new signal way in the brain that plays an important role in learning and the processing of sensory input. It was already known that distinct glial cells receive information from neurons. However, it was unknown that these same glial cells also transmit information to neurons. The glia release a specific protein fragment that influences neuronal cross-talk, most likely by binding to the synaptic contacts that neurons use for communication. Disruption of this information flow from the glia results in changes in the neural network, for example during learning processes. The team's findings constitute major progress in understanding complex pathways of signal transmission in the brain. More information here.

Amparo Acker-Palmer (B04)

20th November 2014 : The two teams led by Amparo Acker-Palmer, Goethe University, and Till Acker, Justus-Liebig-University, have shown that the loss of PHD3 is a crucial step in the growth of human malignant brain tumours (glioblastomas). The tumour cells thus become refractory to the growth-inhibiting signals under hypoxia. "Our work shows an unexpected and new function of PHD3 on the interface of two currently red-hot research areas: Oxygen measurement and EGFR signalling," Amparo Acker-Palmer explains. "This once again proves how significant growth receptor internalisation is to the development of cancer." More information here.


Frauke Zipp (C01)

4th November 2013 : Frauke Zipp, Director of the Department of Neurology of the University Medical Center Mainz co-organised the International Congress for Neuroimmunology in Mainz, which brought together approximately 1000 scientists from around the world to exchange ideas about inflammation of the nervous system and other neurological topics. In addition to Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke and brain tumors, multiple sclerosis will have a particularly central role. At the Official Opening, a representative of the state government, Hans Beckmann (State Secretary in the Ministry for Education, Science and Culture), as well as the President of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Prof. Georg Krausch and the Medical and Scientific Directors of the University Medical Center Mainz, Prof. Babette Simon and Prof. Ulrich Förstermann, welcomed the delegates to the conference. More information here.

Erin Schuman (B01)

18th January 2013 : “The Remarkable Neuron” – Erin Schuman

On January 18, 2013, Caltech hosted TEDxCaltech: The Brain, a forward-looking celebration of humankind’s quest to understand the brain, by exploring the past, present and future of neuroscience. Erin Schuman presented her work on protein synthesis at the synapses.