Gruppenbild

Labormitglieder

Prof. Dr. Markus Rothermel

PD Dr. Michael Stern

Foto Michael Stern

Privatdozent

Michael.Stern(at)tiho-hannover.de
+49 511 953-7767

Research Interests

As an insect neurobiologist, I am interested in structural and functional neuronal plasticity of the insect nervous system.
The nervous system is able to respond and adapt to a large variety of external factors during development and adult life, like environmental changes, injury, infection, or toxins, in order to ensure survival and reproduction of the animal. I am interested in the role of neuromodulatory transmitters in these adaptation processes, with a focus on biogenic amines (serotonin and octopamine), and the unusual gaseous transmitter nitric oxide (NO).

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Dr. Daniela Brunert

Foto Daniela Brunert

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Daniela.Brunert(at)tiho-hannover.de

Jennifer Bauer

Foto

Ph.D. Student

Jennifer.Bauer(at)tiho-hannover.de
+49 511 856-7755

Research Interests

"Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy"
Nearly 20% of children with DravetSyndrome, a rare, drug-resistant form of epilepsy, die before the age of 20 years. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the leading cause of death in these patients and has been postulated to result from failure of autonomic centers, caused by or closely following epileptic activity in cortical and limbic networks. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms of how epileptic activity in these brain centers influences brainstem function remain poorly understood. We hypothesize that in epileptic mice, the interactions between cortical/limbic networks and the brainstem are critically altered. Thereby, a sudden death induced by seizure activity in these mice becomes more likely, mimicking the situation in patients suffering from Dravet syndrome. This project's“big leap” is aimed at understanding 1) where and 2) how epileptic activity in cortical/limbic areas impairs brainstem function leading to SUDEP. 1) Where: we hypothesize that hotspots exist within cortical/limbic systems serving as initial triggers for downstream respiratory disturbances in epileptic mice. 2) How: we hypothesize that long-distance neuronal projections or slower processes based on alternative non-synaptic pathways (e.g. underlying Cortical Spreading Depression) might be the underlying mechanisms.

Stella Bergmann

Foto Stella

Ph.D. Student

Stella.Bergmann(at)tiho-hannover.de
+49 511 856-7768

Yu "Alan" Jiang

Foto Jiang Yu

Ph.D. Student

Yu.Jiang(at)tiho-hannover.de
+49 511 856-7756

Kim Chi Le

Research Interests

Dual-color imaging for isolating olfactory bulb output streams in mice
It is known that different brain areas can process segregated aspects of the sensory space as for example the “what & where” pathway in vision. However, whether different regions in the olfactory cortex receive different functional input from mitral and tufted cells (MTCs) remains unknown. MTCs, the output neurons of the olfactory bulb, transmit sensory information to the olfactory cortex. Within the olfactory cortex, MTCs project to several areas including the anterior olfactory nucleus, piriform cortex, olfactory tubercle, cortical amygdala and the lateral entorhinal cortex.

In my master thesis we started to ask whether these anatomically distributed pathways enable parallel processing in olfaction. Using stereotactic injections and retrograde tracing by means of AAV constructs encoding for red and green calcium indicators (GCaMP6 and jRCaMP1a), we label different olfactory bulb output streams based on their axonal target in the olfactory cortex. Performing widefield and high-resolution two-photon microscopy in the olfactory bulb we compare the physiological features of anatomically defined olfactory bulb streams. Using this approach we want to investigate if segregated aspects of the sensory space are processed in parallel streams in the olfactory system.

Jan Mayland

Renata Medinaceli

Research Interests

Our brain constantly receives sensory cues from the environment and uses this information to construct a representation of reality. How we perceived the world, however, does not only rely on these sensory cues, but is also influenced by internal factors such as our past experiences or current emotional state. Our brain is thought to provide this “internal” information through so-called “top-down” input, which can affect sensory information processing at very early stages. How top-down inputs exactly modulate sensory processing remains for the most part unknown.

Fascinated by this basic yet complex neuroscientific question, I joined the research group of Markus Rothermel in April 2016 first as a master and now as a PhD student. In order to investigate how early sensory processing is shaped by top-down input, I am using the mouse’s olfactory system as a model. The olfactory bulb (OB), the first station of synaptic processing of odor information, is not only easily accessible experimentally, but also receives diverse and broad top-down input from both neuromodulatory and cortical sources.
My experiments focus on projections from the anterior olfactory nucleus (AON), an important component of the olfactory cortex. The AON represents the largest source of cortical input and is the only top-down system that targets both the ipsi- and contralateral OB. These characteristics and its extensive connections within and outside the olfactory system, make it an ideal candidate to study early modulation of olfactory information by top-down systems.

Shining light on the role of AON projections to the OB
In my first experiments I stimulated AON neurons electrically, while simultaneously conducting extracellular recordings of mitral/tufted (M/T) cells activity, the main OB output neurons. Electrical stimulation was also performed while visualizing M/T cells activity using widefield imaging. While these experiments give us a first idea of how the AON affects bulbar output, electrical stimulation lacks selectivity. This selectivity was achieved by specifically targeting AON axonal projections innervating the OB using a transgenic mouse line. Moreover, the use of optogenetics not only allows a selective activation but also inhibition of a predefined neuronal population. In the future, I am planning to conduct behavioral experiments, in order to investigate in which behavioral context these top-down systems are intrinsically activated. Furthermore, I am establishing a method that will allow us to combine optogenetic activation of top-down systems and 2-Photon imaging.
Taken together, my research aims to broaden our understanding of how the brain actively and selectively filters sensory information in order to produce adequate behavioral responses. In the long run, these data will hopefully open up new treatment options for sensory disorders that are characterized by abnormal reactions to particular sensory stimuli (e.g. autism spectrum disorder).

Maja Charlotte Bohn

Foto Maja

Masterstudentin
Studiengang: Animal Biology and Biomedical Sciences

Maja.Charlotte.Bohn(at)tiho-hannover.de

Saime Tan

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Biologielaborantin

Saime.Tan(at)tiho-hannover.de
+49 511 953-7766

 

Assoziierte

Alina Kian
Ph.D. Student

Co-Supervision mit Prof. Dr. Dr. Ragnar Huhn-Wientgen
Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf

a-kian(at)web.de

An Ning
Ph.D. Student
Maastricht Universität

a.ning(at)maastrichtuniversity.nl

Stephanie Bothe
Ph.D. Student

Co-Supervision mit Prof. Dr. Angelika Lampert
Universitätsklinikum Aachen

stbothe(at)ukaachen.de

Kim Le Cann
Ph.D. Student

Co-Supervision mit Prof. Dr. Angelika Lampert
Universitätsklinikum Aachen

klecann(at)ukaachen.de

Andrea Fiebig
Ph.D. Student

Co-Supervision mit Dr. Barbara Namer
Universitätsklinikum Aachen

afiebig(at)ukaachen.de

Alumni

Erik Böhm
Ph.D. thesis

Lutz Wallhorn
Ph.D. thesis

Renata Medinaceli
Master thesis

Kim Chi Le
Master thesis

Jennifer Bauer
Master thesis / Bachelor thesis

Jacqueline Riffel
Bachelor thesis

Nikolas Johannes Rose
Bachelor thesis

Vanessa Schweda
Bachelor thesis

Martin Nieszporek
Bachelor thesis

Jannis Koesling
Bachelor thesis

Hilal Taskiran
Erasmus Student

Jacqueline Rudolf
Lab Assistant

Stephan Hillmann
Lab Assistant

Anita Schulz
Lab Assistant

Ariadne Demetriou
Lab Assistant

Svenja Lützow
Lab Assistant

Thore Diefenbach
Lab Assistant