Description of the group:
Our research efforts are focused on understanding the developmental mechanisms that shape the organization and function of the dopaminergic system. The dopaminergic system modulates several brain functions, including reward behavior, voluntary movement and cognitive processes. Its degeneration or dysfunction is implicated in common disorders of the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease, drug abuse disorders and schizophrenia. We investigate the mechanisms that direct the specification of distinct dopaminergic subtypes and the segregation of these subtypes into discrete neuronal clusters in the developing brain. We also explore how these developmental events determine the later connectivity and function of dopaminergic subtypes in the adult brain using a combination of developmental genetic approaches, genetic and viral tracing tools, various imaging methods (live-imaging, light-sheet imaging) and functional analysis.
Prof. Dr. Sandra Blaess
Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology
University of Bonn Sigmund-Freud-Straße 25
D-53127 Bonn, Germany