About Us

Photo: Gerhard Gelilnger / www.pixelio.de

Wuerzburg Neuroscience comprises researchers from the schools of Medicine, Biology and Humanities who work together to solve complex problems in Neuroscience. We train students from various disciplines such as Medicine, Biomedicine, Biology, Psychology, Biochemistry and Physics to become competent researchers able to address challenging questions in current Neuroscience.

The Wuerzburg Neuroscience community has a long tradition of joint research and training programs, going back to 1990, when joint training programs were established between the schools of Medicine, Biology and Humanities (Psychology). These training programs have been the basis of joint research programs such as the collaborative Research Centre 581 (Molecular Models for Disorders of the Nervous System), the TR/collaborative Research Centre on Anxiety, the KFO125 (Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders), the Graduate Training Program 1253 “Emotions”, and the Research Group 605 “Emotion and Behavior”. Within these structured research programs, a continuous interaction between molecular and clinical neuroscientists has promoted the understanding of cellular and synaptic mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction. Wuerzburg Neuroscience has also fostered interactions with groups working on the development of new imaging techniques to understand how molecular and cellular mechanisms impact systemic aspects of brain disorders.

This research program has been boosted since 2010 by the groups of Markus Sauer, Christian Stigloher, Philip Kollmannsberger and Philip Tovote who joined Wuerzburg Neuroscience to bring in experience in advanced microscopic techniques, both for high resolution light microscopy, 3D Electron Microscopic Tomography in combination with dSTORM and SIM microscopy techniques, as well as calcium imaging and optogenetics. Furthermore, training programs in Physics have been integrated for state of the art techniques in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, in order to strengthen the study of neural function from the individual synapse to neuronal circuits.

Central topics in clinical research in Neurology and Psychiatry as well as Neuropsychology are anxiety and movement disorders. The underlying networks build on phylogenetically conserved neural circuits for goal-directed and defensive motor behavior. This emotional-motor link becomes apparent by a high prevalence of emotional disorders in patients with extrapyramidal movement disorders and characteristic motor behavior in anxiety disorders. This previously unrecognized inter-relation in conjunction with a deeper understanding of the underlying molecular network dysfunctions offers new opportunities for patient-related research and therapies. Current projects aim at the characterization of the neurobiological correlates of symptoms in movement and anxiety disorders using clinical, behavioral, molecular, electrophysiological and neuroimaging analyses. 

The education and research strategy of the Würzburg Neuroscience community.