CV Prof. Letzkus

Johannes J. Letzkus is a neuroscientist who focuses on the neuronal circuit mechanisms of memory and top-down information processing in neocortex. He received his training at the Australian National University and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (Basel, Switzerland), and headed the Neocortical Circuits Lab at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt, Germany) before being appointed DFG Heisenberg Professor at the Institute of Physiology I in Freiburg.





Positions & Qualifications                                                                                                         

Since 2020: DFG Heisenberg Professorship at the Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg

2013-2020: Max-Planck Research Group Leader at the MPI for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany

2010-2013: SNSF Ambizione Investigator at the Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland

2007-2010: Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Prof. Andreas Lüthi at the Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland

2003-2007: Ph.D. Candidate in the lab of Prof. Greg Stuart at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra

2002-2003: Researcher at the University of Mainz, Germany

1997-2002: Biology Major at the University of Mainz, Germany


Awards, Honors & Memberships                                                                                               

since 2020:      Member of BrainLinks-BrainTools, Bernstein Center Freiburg, NeuroModulBasics   

2019:                DFG Heisenberg Professorship

2014-18:           Member of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence

2013:                European Research Council Starting Grant

2013:                Pfizer Prize for the best neuroscience paper in Switzerland

2012:                University Prize, Frutiger Foundation, Switzerland

2012:                Offer for an Assistant Professorship at New York University, USA

2009:                Frank Fenner PhD Medal, Australia

2009:                Paxinos-Watson Paper Prize, Australia

2004:                Two PhD Scholarships, Australia

2002:                Diploma in Biology with Distinction


Highlights Invited Talks                                                                                                            

Brain Conference: Learning, Memory and Synaptic Plasticity. Gordon Research Conferences on: ‘Dendrites’, ‘Inhibition in the CNS’ (2x) & ‘Synaptic Transmission’. Society for Neuroscience Meeting (2x). FENS Meeting. EMBO Workshop Dendrites. FENS-Kavli Symposium. Japan Neuroscience Society Meeting. Argentinian Neuroscience Society Meeting. Weizmann Institute Optogenetics Meeting. Swiss Society of Psychiatry and Psychology Meeting. Giessbach Meeting Switzerland.


Teaching in Schools & Junior Scientist Conferences                                                                

Plenary lecture, 1st Swiss Early-career Researchers Symposium, Geneva. Summer School ‘Neural Circuit Development and Plasticity’, Utrecht, The Netherlands. FENS-IBRO-Hertie Winter School ‘Brain dynamics and dynamics of brain disease’, Obergurgl, Austria. Inhibition in the CNS Gordon Research Seminar, Colby College, USA. Argentinian Neuroscience Society course ‘State-of-the-art methods in neuroscience research’, Mar del Plata, Argentina. Plenary Lecture, Neuronus IBRO Young Neuroscience Forum, Krakow, Poland. RWTH Aachen career day. Translational workshop, University of Würzburg. BrainDisC Meeting Freiburg. iCoNet PhD conference, Bernstein Center Freiburg. IMPRS for Brain and Behavior Retreat, Frankfurt, Germany. SPP1665 Optogenetics workshop, Bochum, Germany. CRC 636 Autumn School, Grasellenbach, Germany


Research Impact                                                                                                                       

Google scholar h-index 22, >5500 citations. Major publications in Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience & Neuron.


Highlights Community Service                                                                                                   

Ad hoc reviewer for 17 journals including Science, Cell, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Nature Communications & eLife. In addition, reviewer services for a total of 16 funding bodies including the Humboldt Foundation, European Research Council, DFG, Wellcome Trust, Swiss Nat. Science Found. & Einstein Foundation Berlin.



Organization and/or delivery of 8 outreach talks to the general public as part of my work as a FENS-Kavli Scholar and independently, including a talk at Munich Opera House.

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