• We apply various configurations of the patch-clamp technique (whole-cell, cell-attached, excised inside-out, outside-out) to native and genetically manipulated cells and subcellular compartments. They enable us to monitor protein function and protein-protein interactions at high-resolution.
  • We use a large spectrum of biochemical techniques to detect and quantify membrane proteins (mainly ion channels and receptors), their post-translational modifications and association with other proteins in complexes and protein networks.
  • Modern mass spectrometers coupled with liquid chromatography enable us to identify several hundreds of proteins from complex samples with high confidence and sequence coverage. In addition, they provide quantitative data that let us determine stability, specificity and stoichiometry of protein-protein interactions as well as absolute protein abundance.
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) provides information on structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules at atomic resolution under near-physiological conditions. We use it to examine proteins participating in the nano-environment of membrane proteins with regard to their 3D structure, mobility and interactions.
  • Using innovative microsystems, we work to enhance resolution and throughput of electrical recording of ionic currents. We develop biohybrid sensing devices based on single biological nanopores in membrane microarrays and study the interaction of natural and synthetic polymers with pore-forming membrane proteins.
  • To understand how neurons collectively process information, we develop optogenetic tools as well as new technologies for recordings from neurons in vivo and imaging of cell activity using photon Ca2+ and functional approaches. With computational network models we gain information on the principles underlying information processing in complex neuronal circuits.

Neural Networks


Memory is a fundamental aspect of brain function. It allows us to contribute daily to modern society. Memory deficits are the most devastating brain disorder. One of the most fundamental questions in neuroscience in this century is to understand the contribution of neuron types in the process of encoding, storage and retrieval of information. 

Synaptically connected basket cells


Previous investigations have used recordings from single or pairs of interconnected neurons in cortical slice preparations. Although these studies provide detailed information on the properties of synaptic communication, to understand how populations of neurons collectively process information remains an open question.

New technologies such as recordings from neurons in vivo, imaging of cell activity using two photon Ca2+ imaging or functional imaging and optogenetic tools have been developed to address these questions. Functional imaging has been established whereas Ca2+ imaging and optogenetic tools are currently employed in the Bartos group.

On the basis of the obtained experimental data we use computational network models to gain information on the principles underlying information processing in complex neuronal circuits. With this combined approach we believe to contribute to a better understanding of neuronal network function and the mechanisms underlying cognitive deficits.


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