Institute of Cell Biology & Neuroscience
At present, seven of the Institute’s departments are investigating neurobiological and cell biological problem complexes on animals as well as on animal and human cells. One department with a bioinformatic focus belongs to the Institute, as does the Institute of Apiology (Oberursel), which is jointly supported by the Polytechnical Society and the Faculty of Biological Sciences; two departments are members of the Excellence Cluster Macromolecular Complexes of the Goethe University.
The research spectrum ranges from cellular genetics and molecular neuronal mechanisms to physiology and pharmacology up to behavioural investigations in humans and animals. For example, processes of cellular communication and disturbances such as those occurring in tumour growth are at the research focus. An additional focus is synaptic processes, the neogenesis of synapses and the role of extracellular nucleotides for neuronal information processing.
Learning process and their pharmacological bases are investigated, e.g., on simple insect models. Investigations on the transformation of sensorial stimuli into neuronal potential changes are also part of this research. Bioacustical, neurophysiological and cognitive mechanisms of sensory processing are analyses just as are pathological forms of processing, for example, tinnitus
The Institute’s work groups participate in the Bachelor’s Study Programme in Biological Sciences, the teacher training courses of study as well as in the Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programmes in Bioinformatics. Beyond this, the institute organises the Master’s Programme in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience as well as the one in Cell Biology and Physiology.
The Institute’s staff performs experimental investigations on different organisms and cell cultural models. Genetically modified mice are also employed. The development of scientific methods is another focus. Thus, for example, the newest techniques of optical biophysics and microscopy are designed; they are and will be of great importance for the investigation of cellular and developmental process.
The Institute maintains extensive international co-operations as well as an institute’s partnership with the Cuban University of Havana. The SciMento is organised by the institute; this is a state-wide mentoring programme for women PhD students and young women postdocs.