Institute of Neuropathology
University Hospital of Zurich
Tel. +41 44 255 2107
Fax +41 44 255 4402
1 professor, 2 senior physicians, 1 senior research associate, 10 postdoctoral fellows, 3 assistant physicians, 4 MD/PhD students, 11 PhD students, 2 diploma students, 11 technicians
Our scientific activities focus on two areas which are well-distingued from each other – however, similar model systems and methodologies are being used in both areas. One focus of our research activity is the investigation of the pathogenetic events which lead to the neuroinvasion of prions in the body of infected individuals (Fig. 1). To this end, we are using a large array of methodologies including transgenic and knock-out mice, recombinant adenoviruses, brain grafts (Fig. 2) and adoptive transfer of haematopoetic cells. Our work in the last five years has been carried out in the frame of a close collaboration with the group of Charles Weissmann (Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Zürich) and of Rolf M. Zinkernagel (Institute of Experimental Immunology, University of Zurich).
The other long-standing research project concerns the histogenesis and progression of human malignant brain tumors. Here we have developed a transgenic mouse model for the progression of astrocytomas. In these mice which express a GFAP-v-src transgene, astrocytomas develop stochastically suggesting the cooperation of further genetic lesions. By random mutagenesis through retroviral tagging, we are currently trying to accelerate the induction of neoplastic legions, in order to identify further, hitherto unknown oncogenes which may play a role in the malignant progression of experimental, and hopefully also human, astrocytomas.
We are using a variety of transgenic and knock-out mouse models, combined with neurosurgical technologies such as transplantation of embryonal neuroectodermal tissue into brain and spinal cord, as well as delivery of viral vectors to neural structures (such as dorsal root ganglia).
Advice to applicants for
master, PhD and postdoc positions (pdf, 58 KB)
Swiss National Science Foundation, EU Biomed Programme, Swiss Research Programme on Neurodegenerative Diseases (NFP-38), Federal Office of Health, Federal Office of Veterinary Medicine, various biotech companies
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