Section for Translational Epilepsy Research
Department of Neuropathology
University of Bonn Medical Center
In the nervous system release of neurotransmitter at specialized contact sites, synapses, is the major mode of communication. This process of vesicular exocytosis of neurotransmitter is highly adjustable to neuronal activity and alterations in synaptic properties and numbers have been suggested to constitute a fundamental mechanism for modifying functional properties of neuronal networks and thereby contributing to phenomena like learning and memory. Our research is focused on the following questions: (1) what are the molecular mechanisms regulating synaptic function and plasticity, (2) how do these mechanisms differ between functionally distinct types of synapses, (3) how does synaptic dysfunction contribute to the development of cognitive disorders and hyperexcitability.
To address these questions we apply molecular, biochemical, and morphological techniques, FLIM/FRET, dSTORM, time-lapse, 2-photon, confocal and widefield imaging, viral transduction, experimental animal models.