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Schuster group

Principal investigator:
Interdisciplinary Centre for Neurosciences
Bernstein Centre for Computational Neurosciences
Dept. Neurobiology
University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 345
69120 Heidelberg


General research interests and goals:

The detailed characterization of higher brain functions such as learning & memory and memory modulation as well as the underlying network- and synaptic plasticity phenomena is often hindered by the overwhelming complexity of mammalian brains. In contrast, the brains of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster harbor 10⁶ times fewer neurons than human brains and flies still show a remarkably rich repertoire of complex behaviors and plasticity phenomena. We therefore use flies in a highly interdisciplinary approach to assess the principal cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying various forms of experience-dependent plasticity. Our research focuses on the following aspects:

• cellular and molecular principles of long-term memory (LTM) formation and LTM-modulation, such as LTM-extinction, reconsolidation and reinstatement;
• principles of small network functions and functional state switches with a focus on computational approaches;
• cellular and molecular principles of experience-dependent potentiation of glutamatergic synapses.



Current group members:

PostDocs: Markus Knodel / Dr. Dan Bucher / Dr. Matthias Knirr / Jan Hörtzsch
PhD students: Yeung Yeung Leung / Romina Geiger / Tairi Aljand / Nina Dräger
Associates: Emilia Sancho Vargas / Ann-Kathrin Dachtler / Nadine Stowasser

Key publications:

Ge L, Leung YY, Parisotto D, Schuster CM (2017) AKT activity controls the functional status of vesicle release machineries. Under revision .
Knodel MM, Geiger R, Ge L, Bucher D, Grillo A, Wittum G, Schuster CM, Queisser G (2014) Synaptic bouton properties are tuned to best fit the prevailing firing pattern Front Comput Neurosci 8:101 .
Weislogel JM, Bengtson CP, Muller MK, Hortzsch JN, Bujard M, Schuster CM, Bading H (2013) Requirement for nuclear calcium signaling in Drosophila long-term memory Science Signal 6:ra33 .
Vogel A, Reiter S, Rupp M, Nägel A, Wittum G (2013) UG4: a novel flexible software system for simulating PDE based models on high-performance computers. Comp.Vis.Sci. 16(4), 165-169 (2013) .