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Bonn - Ashburn / Evanston / Stanford

German - US-American Collaboration in Computational Neuroscience

"Generation of computer models of dendritic signal processing and synaptic plasticity mechanisms in hippocampal nerve cells by high-resolution microscopy"

This project aims at an improved understanding of the function of nerve cells in the hippocampus. The nerve cells of this brain region were chosen because they play a special, but only partially understood role in the cognitive abilities of the brain and in neurodegenerative diseases. Studying the hippocampal neurons will also provide new insights into the function of nerve cells of other brain regions, since there are extensive structural and functional similarities.

The functions of hippocampal nerve cells in the CA1 region will be investigated using electrophysiological recordings and two-photon-based targeted neurotransmitter release. These measurements are combined with optical recordings of intracellular calcium changes. In addition, structural and molecular data about the recorded cells will be collected, using array tomography. This novel technique allows for the best resolution of dendritic branching of neurons that can be achieved by light microscopy. A correlation between function and structure will be made possible, since both parameters can be examined in the same nerve cell.

Read more about this project in a DZNE press release.


The following scientists take part in this collaboration:

  • Stefan Remy, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn
  • Nelson Spruston, Janelia Farm Research Campus HHMI, Ashburn, Virginia, USA
  • William Kath,  Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
  • Stephen Smith, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA


German Coordinator:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Remy
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)      
c/o Uniklinik Bonn
BMZ 1 - Gebäude 344
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53105 Bonn