Research

Neural Stability & Plasticity

We aim to discover mechanisms mediating stable, and yet plastic neural function.

Stable neural function is not a given, as apparent from disorders like epilepsy. Our current research focuses on the identification of molecular mechanisms stabilizing a key process of neural function – synaptic transmission.  A new line of research revolves around homeostatic stabilization of neural excitability and links to neural disease.

We employ a combination of genetic screens in Drosophila melanogaster and quantitative analysis of synaptic function and structure in Drosophila and mouse brain slices to investigate homeostatic regulation of synaptic transmission. Furthermore, we analyze neural excitability and ion channel biophysics in neuronal cultures derived from patients with neurodevelopmental symptoms.

 

Questions

  • What are the links between the homeostatic regulation of protein abundance, or ‘proteostasis’, and homeostatic synaptic plasticity?
  • Which mechanisms regulate trans-synaptic nano-architecture during homeostatic plasticity?
  • How is synapse formation robustly specified at the subcellular level in CNS axons?
  • Which mechanisms underlie rapid homeostatic stabilization of CNS circuit function?
  • How does homeostatic control of neural excitability relate to neural pathology?

 

For more details see https://muellerlab.squarespace.com/

 


 

Current projects

 

 

proteostasis

 

 

Proteostasis & synaptic homeostasis

What are the links between proteostasis and homeostatic plasticity?

 


 

nano architecture

 

 

Transsynaptic nano-architecture

Which mechanisms regulate trans-synaptic nano-architecture during homeostatic plasticity?

 


 

synapse-formation

 

 

Compartment-specific synapse formation

How is synapse formation robustly specified at the subcellular level in CNS axons?

 


 

CNS_homeostasis

 

 

Rapid CNS homeostasis

Which mechanisms underlie rapid homeostatic stabilization of CNS circuit function?

 


 

Neural excitability & disease

 

 

Neural excitability & disease

How does homeostatic control of neural excitability relate to neural pathology?