SYStems Neurobiology


Oct 11, 2020

Resolving pain

The DFG has granted funding for the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) "ResolvePAIN -Peripheral mechanisms of pain and its resolution" based at University Hospital of Würzburg (UKW). The speaker, Claudia Sommer from the Department of Neurology, and the scientific coordinator, Heike Rittner from the Department of Anesthesiology, are enthusiastic about bringing together 17 clinical and basic science researchers from Würzburg, Berlin and Leipzig, to work together on the subject of pain resolution in this first 4-year period. The consortium has a strong focus on translational research and on promoting young scientists. Postdoc, clinician scientist and PhD positions within the CRU are now open.

Jun 24, 2020

Retuning brain function

The DFG has announced funding for the Transregional Collaborative Research Center (CRC) "Retuning dynamic motor network disorders using neuromodulation". Coordinated by Andrea Kühn from the Charité University Medical Center in Berlin and Jens Volkmann from the University Hospital Würzburg, this large consortium brings together 32 clinical and basic researchers as project leaders within 16 scientific and 3 core projects. Over an initial 4-year period, "Retune" will address fundamental mechanisms as well as concrete applications of deep brain stimulation to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Dystonia. Postdoc, PhD and technician positions within the CRC are now open.

Jan 05, 2020

In an interview with popular radio station "Deutschlandfunk", Dr. Grit Hein, Professor for Translational Social Neuroscience at Würzburg's Center for Mental Health (ZEP) talks about how the political climate negatively affects empathy in individuals. Interview (in German)

Oct 23, 2019

Four teams from Würzburg are part of a newly DFG-fundend research group called "SYNABS". They will investigate how auto-immune processes are targeting synapses in the nervous system during inflammatory states and address novel therapeutic countermeasures.

Sep 08, 2019

Application for the winter term 2019/20 University of Wuerzburg Translational Neuroscience MSc program is closed. Lectures and seminars will start on 14 October 2019. The next application period for winter term 2020/21 will be open from 15 January to 15 March 2020.

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the researcher

In this column, we are introducing the heads behind the science. Get an idea of what motivates them, how they manage their projects, and understand their personal take on research!

Oct 28, 2019

Dr. Martin M. Reich is a Junior Research Group Leader of the visualDBSlab ( at the Department of Neurology in the University of Wuerzburg. He is the lead author of a study published in the journal Brain which was selected as an Editor’s choice for the May’s issue. Read the interview

Sep 10, 2018

Current Biology recently profiled Basil el Jundi who is an Emmy Noether Group Leader at the Biocenter in the University of Würzburg. His research group seeks to understand the behavioral and neural principles underlying spatial orientation and navigation in insects such as the monarch butterfly.

Nov 27, 2017

Patrick Lüningschrör, Postdoc in Prof Michael Sendtner’s group at the Institute of Clinical Neurobiology is the lead author of a study on molecular mechanisms in motoneuron disease published in Nature Communications. Read the interview

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Sep 29, 2020

The Translational Neuroscience Autumn School 2020 (30th -31st Oct) focuses on novel therapeutical approaches helping to understand neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases. The session on Spinal Muscular Atrophy therapy will provide an excellent example illustrating the translation of basic research to clinical practice. This meeting will this year be held in an online format. Senior experts and young investigators from different fields of neuroscience, e.g. motor neuron diseases, neuroimmunology, stem cell research, genetics and neurophysiology of psychiatric disorders, will discuss their research topics with the audience. Master and graduate students are invited to expand their knowledge, but also to be motivated to continue their education diligently and continuously and to address the challenges of neuroscience. Poster

Registration deadline: 22 Oct 2020 (email to:

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Latest publications

September 2020

Melt Electrowritten In Vitro Radial Device to Study Cell Growth and Migration.

Bakirci E, Schaefer N, Dahri O, Hrynevich A, Strissel P, Strick R, Dalton PD, Villmann C. Adv Biosyst. 2020 Sep 2:e2000077. doi: 10.1002/adbi.202000077. Online ahead of print.PMID: 32875734


Anxiety and Startle Phenotypes in Glrb Spastic and Glra1 Spasmodic Mouse Mutants.

Schaefer N, Signoret-Genest J, von Collenberg CR, Wachter B, Deckert J, Tovote P, Blum R,Villmann C. Front Mol Neurosci. 2020 Aug 11;13:152. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2020.00152. eCollection 2020.PMID: 32848605 Free PMC article.


Antiparanodal antibodies and IgG subclasses in acute autoimmune neuropathy.

Appeltshauser L, Brunder AM, Heinius A, Körtvélyessy P, Wandinger KP, Junker R, Villmann C, Sommer C, Leypoldt F, Doppler K. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2020 Jul 24;7(5):e817. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000817. Print 2020 Sep.PMID: 32736337 Free PMC article.

July 2020

Induction of BDNF expression in layer II/III and layer V neurons of the motor cortex is essential for motor learning. Andreska T, Rauskolb S, Scheffler N, Lüningschrör P, Sasi M, Signoret-Genest J, Behringer M, Blum R, Sauer M, Tovote P, Sendtner M. J Neurosci. 2020 Jul 10:JN-RM-0288-20. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0288-20.2020. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32651187

GlyR autoantibodies impair receptor function and induce motor dysfunction. Rauschenberger V, Wardenburg NV, Schaefer N, Ogino K, Hirata H, Lillesaar C, Kluck CJ, Meinck HM, Borrmann M, Weishaupt A, Doppler K, Wickel J, Geis C, Sommer C, Villmann C. Ann Neurol. 2020 Jun 26. doi: 10.1002/ana.25832. Online ahead of print.PMID: 32588476


Comparison of biophysical properties of α1β2 and α3β2 GABAA receptors in whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings. Olander ER, Janzen D, Villmann C, Jensen AA. PLoS One. 2020 Jun 1;15(6):e0234080. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0234080. eCollection 2020.PMID: 32479525 Free PMC article.

April 2020

A novel glycine receptor variant with startle disease affects syndapin I and glycinergic inhibition.

Langlhofer G, Schaefer N, Maric HM, Keramidas A, Zhang Y, Baumann P, Blum R, Breitinger U, Strømgaard K, Schlosser A, Kessels MM, Koch D, Qualmann B, Breitinger HG, Lynch JW, Villmann C.

J Neurosci. 2020 Apr 29. pii: JN-RM-2490-19. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2490-19.2020. [Epub ahead of print]



Cortical Neurons form a Functional Neuronal Network in a 3D Printed Reinforced Matrix.

Janzen D, Bakirci E, Wieland A, Martin C, Dalton PD, Villmann C.

Adv Healthc Mater. 2020 Mar 17:e1901630. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201901630. [Epub ahead of print]

January 2020

Luo, S, Zhang, T, Li, W, Yu, M, Hein, G & Han, S (2019). Interactions between oxytocin receptor gene and intergroup relationship on empathic neural responses to others’ pain. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 14(5):505-517.

Rauschenberger L, Knorr S, Al-Zuraiqi Y, Tovote P, Volkmann J, Ip CW. Striatal dopaminergic dysregulation and dystonia-like movements induced by sensorimotor stress in a pharmacological mouse model of rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism. Experimental Neurology 323:113109, 2019.

Dalmay T*, Abs E*, Poorthuis RB, Hartung J, Pu D, Onasch S, Lozano Y, Signoret-Genest J, Tovote P, Gjorgjieva J, Letzkus JJ. A critical role for neocortical processing of threat memory. Neuron 104(6):1180-1194, 2019.

August 2019

Stengel H, Vural A, Brunder AM, Heinius A, Appeltshauser L, Fiebig B, Giese F, Dresel C, Papagianni A, Birklein F, Weis J, Huchtemann T, Schmidt C, Körtvelyessy P, Villmann C, Meinl E, Sommer C, Leypoldt F, Doppler K. Anti-pan-neurofascin IgG3 as a marker of fulminant autoimmune neuropathy. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2019, 6. pii: e603. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000603.

Zlotos DP, Mohsen AMY, Mandour YM, Marzouk MA, Breitinger U, Villmann C, Breitinger HG, Sotriffer C, Jensen AA, Holzgrabe U. 11-Aminostrychnine and N-(strychnine-11-yl) propionamide: Synthesis, Configuration, and Pharmacological evaluation at glycine receptors. J Nat Prod. 2019, 82:2332-2336. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.9b00180

Kitzenmaier A, Schaefer N, Kasaragod VB, Polster T, Hantschmann R, Schindelin H, Villmann C.The P429L loss of function mutation of the human glycine transpoerter 2 associated with hyperekplexia. Eur J Neurosci. 2019, doi: 10.1111/ejn.14533.

April 2019

Doppler K, Schuster Y, Appeltshauser L, Biko L, Villmann C, Weishaupt A, Werner C, Sommer C. Anti-CNTN1 IgG3 induces actue conduction block and motor deficits in a passive transfer rat model. J Neuroinflammation 2019, 16(1):73. doi: 10.1186/s12974-019-1462-z.

January 2019

Schaefer N, Janzen D, Bakirci E, Hrynevich A, Dalton PD, Villmann C (2019) 3D electrophysiological measurements on cells embedded within fiber-reinforced Matrigel. Adv Healthcare Mat 8(5):e1801226 DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201801226

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© 2020 by Philip Tovote

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last update: 10/12/2020