Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Zurich
Tel. +41 44 635 6085
Secr. Tel. +41 44 635 5969
Our group investigates neurovascular coupling and information processing in the rodent whisker to barrel system applying a wide range of optical imaging methods. The main research focus can be grouped in two complementary fields. (1) Improving our understanding of the mechanisms governing the regulation of blood flow and metabolism. (2) Elucidating the processes that code and integrate sensorimotor information in the rat and mouse vibrissa system.
Keywords: Neurovascular coupling, sensorimotor integration, cerebrovascular anatomy, experimental stroke, neuron-glia interaction, optical imaging, beta-probe, synchrotron-radiation based x-ray microscopy
1 professor (SNF Foerderungsprofessur), 3 postdocs, 5 doctoral students
For details, please see: http://www.pharma.uzh.ch/research/functionalimaging.html
Neurovascular Coupling: Non-invasive functional neuroimaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have become indispensable tools for the neurosciences. The underlying principle of the most frequently used methods is the brain’s local, dynamic regulation of blood flow. The correct interpretation of the neuroimaging results requires an in-depth understanding of the structural and functional neurovascular coupling underlying this regulation. Our group combines ex-vivo and in-vivo experiments in the rodent somatosensory cortex to close the gap between structural and functional aspects of the haemodynamic response.
Sensorimotor Integration: How sensory information is processed and how it is modulated by other brain areas is a key question in systems neuroscience. The long term goal of our research is to understand how neuronal networks in different parts of the brain interact during active touch perception. Our investigations of are based on combining tight stimulus control (head-fixed preparation and measurement of whisker trajectory), behavior (operant conditioning) and the use of voltage sensitive dye imaging, intrinsic optical imaging as well as two-photon calcium imaging.
Neuronal-glial interaction: Cerebral energy metabolism is highly compartmentalized. There is still a vast array of unresolved questions concerning the individual discrete compartments with regard to qualitative and quantitative metabolic aspects, as well as concerning the highly debated astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle. Above all, further evidence is needed to demonstrate that neurons use astrocyte-derived lactate as an energy substrate in vivo.
BIO 402, BIO 405
Advanced Courses in Neurosciences (ZNZ PhD program)
Swiss National Science Foundation, SystemsX.ch, OPO Stiftung, ZIHP, Max Planck Gesellschaft, Novartis Foundation for Biological and Medical Research
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