Neurodevelopmental Genetics

Prof. Dr. Sandra Blaess

Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology

University of Bonn

Website Publications

Midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons modulate cognitive processes, regulate voluntary movement and reward behavior.A major goal of our research effort is to unravel the mechanisms that underlie the generation of diversity in the dopaminergic system. To investigate how these developmental processes determine the connectivity and function of mDAneuronal subtypes in the adult brain, we use a combination of developmental genetic approaches, genetic tracing tools, electrophysiology and optogenetic methods. Given that it is still unclear why specific subgroups of mDA neurons are susceptible to neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease and that aberrant dopamine regulation is associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders, a comprehensive knowledge of mDA neuronal development is a prerequisite for understanding the etiology of these diseases and will contribute to the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

Tags:  Neural Stem Cells  Nervous System  Developmental Biology