Our group is interested in the essential regulatory processes that control and maintain neuronal activity and which malfunction cause diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.
As a model, we investigate the olfactory and taste systems, which have a simple cellular logic that is conserved from flies to humans. Our approach is to do the discoveries in the experimentally highly accessible and numerical simple fruit fly system and to establish the evolutionary conservation of the identified mechanisms in the much more elaborate mouse system. We take a multidisciplinary experimental approach, including Drosophila and mouse genomic tools, single cell approaches, behavior analysis, biochemistry and live cell imaging in combination with cryo-EM and cutting-edge neuroscience methodologies.
Several conceptually diverse projects are currently being pursued, including investigation of feedback mechanisms that balance the neuronal activity level, paracrine and autocrine signals that maintain neuronal communication level, external modulation of network function.