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Project Overview

Molecular and cellular determinants of cerebellar development

Our group utilizes the cerebellum as a paradigm to investigate basic molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning the development of individual nerve cells and their integration into functional tissues. Among the issues at the center of our interest are such questions as:

  • Starting from a seemingly homogeneous pool of neuronal precursors, how do individual nerve cells manage to acquire their distinct morphologies, as defined both by their microscopic appearance and their molecular makeup?

  • How does this morphology correlate with functional capacities?
  • How do individual nerve cells know where they are, and which neighbors to contact?
  • What is the role of cell lineage, and what is the contribution of cell-cell interactions to the establishment of functional neuronal systems?
  • And, at the base of it all, what is the mechanistic foundation of the intricate interplay between the genetic machinery and its environment which ultimately underlies the differential and concerted expression of genes that assures the proper development of the nervous system?

To address these issues, we combine a number of up-to-date in vitro and in vivo approaches.

Current Members of the group Current Position
Schilling, Karl principal investigator
Eiberger, Britta Dr.  
Topka, Sabine
Wefers, Annika