CIN Members

In 2007, the CIN started with 25 principal investigators as cluster applicants, as stipulated in the DFG call for bids. When the CIN cluster was approved further  scientists from a range of institutions were incorporated, to make up the 48 'founding members' of the CIN. Since the beginning of 2014 the CIN has consisted of over 80 scientists in total. The membership process involves an application to the steering committee in which the candidate outlines his or her scientific profile and submits a list of publications. The committee's decision is based purely on the scientific excellence of each candidate.

CIN Members

Prof. Dr. Marlies Knipper

Organization: University Hospital Tübingen


Elfriede-Aulhorn-Str. 5
72076 Tübingen

Phone number: +49 (0)7071 29 88244

Department: Tübingen Hearing Research Centre, Molecular Physiology of Hearing

Area: CIN Members

Scientific topic: Molecular Origin of Hearing Loss

Field of Research

Our research aims to elucidate the molecular origin of congenitcal and acquired hearing loss and deafness.We partucular focus on the role of thyroid hormone using it as a master component to elucidate functional relevant genes for hearing. Of special interest is currently also the analysis of the synaptic machinery of hair cells and its correlation to the temporal coding of auditory fibers. For these projects we use conditional and constitutive mice models as well as gerbils and rats.

We also investigate the molecular basis of tinnitus, using a behaviour model in comparison to a molecular approach (Activity dependent genes) and electrophysiology (CAP measurements of auditory fibers and field potential measurements of central auditory nuclei). The overall main techniques are molecular based (In situ hybridization, Northern blot, Y2H, Real time PCR, transgenic mice technology) or functional based (Hearing measurements, ABR, CAP, DPOAEs, Field potentials, behaviour animal model).


(1) Molecular biology: Northern / Southern Blot, Realtime PCR, Elisa, Western, In situ Immunohistochemistry; (2) Electrophysiology: AbR, DPOAE, CMP, Behavior animal model, cell culture, transgenic mice.


auditory system; cell culture (organotypic); clinical neurosciences; degeneration / regeneration; neuro-pathology; neuro-plasticity; neuro-protection

  1. Heidrych P, Zimmermann U, Kuhn S, Franz C, Engel J, Duncker SV, Hirt B, Pusch CM, Ruth P, Pfister M, Marcotti W, Blin N, Knipper M (2009). Otoferlin interacts with myosin VI: implications for maintenance of the basolateral synaptic structure of the inner hair cell. Hum Mol Genet. 18(15):2779-90.
  2. Winter H, Rüttiger L, Müller M, Kuhn S, Brandt N, Zimmermann U, Hirt B, Bress A, Sausbier M, Conscience A, Flamant F, Tian Y, Zuo J, Pfister M, Ruth P, Löwenheim H, Samarut J, Engel J, Knipper M (2009). Deafness in TRbeta mutants is caused by malformation of the tectorial membrane malformation. J Neurosci. 29(8):2581-7.
  3. Johnson SL, Franz C, Kuhn S, Furness DN, Rüttiger L, Münkner S, Rivolta MN, Seward EP, Herschman HR, Engel J, Knipper M, Marcotti W (2010). Synaptotagmin IV determines the linear Ca2+ dependence of vesicle fusion at auditory ribbon synapses. Nat Neurosci. 13(1):45-52.