Research Groups

Jennifer Li & Dr. Drew Robson
Our lab has two primary areas of focus - Systems Neuroscience and Neuroengineering. We develop novel imaging systems to record and manipulate neural activity in freely swimming larval zebrafish. We use these tools to gain a deeper understanding of the neural mechanisms that control internal brain states, such as motivation and attention. Broadly speaking, we are interested in the interaction between neuromodulatory systems and global brain states, as well as state-dependent modulation of decision making during behaviors such as navigation, foraging, and operant learning. [more]

Dr. Anke Henning
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) allows for non-invasive and non-ionizing determination of tissue concentrations and metabolic turn-over rates of various metabolites and compounds in animals or humans. MRS is hence applied for clinical diagnostics and has established as an important tool for physiological research. The focus of this research group is MRS methods development exploiting the advantages of ultra-high field strength and applications in the areas of psychiatric imaging and spinal cord pathologies.

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PD Dr. Goran Angelovski
We develop responsive or smart contrast agents for tracking neuronal activity. These are bioactivated molecules able to detect changes in concentration of ions or molecules relevant for brain function and translate them into changes in MR contrast. These functional markers permit direct visualization of neural activation independent of the state of the vascular system.

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Dr. Xin Yu
One research direction is to study the underlying mechanism of neurovascular coupling by identifying the signaling molecules propagating from neuron to glia, and to vessel. The other is to identify the “core switch” underlying the brain arousal and coma states by combining genetic tools with optical imaging and high field fMRI. The goal is to identify candidate molecules from critical brain nuclei, which can contribute to switch brain states. We are expected to translate the knowledge acquired from animal models to novel therapeutic treatment of coma patients. [more]
PD Dr. Dr. Hamid Noori
fMRI is widely used to study the operational organization of the brain. The exact relationship between the measured functional signal and the underlying neural activity, however, is yet unclear. Previous studies (Logothetis et al., 2001; Caesar et al., 2003) have already examined the relationship between large-scale electrical (in particular the local field potentials) and functional activity patterns. However, the large-scale neurochemical context, which is of utmost importance for drug design and development, has so far not been considered.fMRI ist ein weit verbreitetes Mittel, um die operative Organisation des Gehirns zu erforschen. Der genaue Zusammenhang zwischen gemessenen funktionellen Signalen und der zugrundeliegenden neuronalen Aktivität ist jedoch nach wie vor unklar. [more]
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