Project News

New Paper Published in Nature Neuroscience

Today, Nature Neuroscience published the study spearheaded by Alexandra and Katja, with help from Hartwig and Anahit. We show that depending on the ambient light level, the retina changes its "language" with which it talks to the brain. For more information see the press release in German (pdf) or in English (pdf). The study can be found here.

Anahit Obtains Her PhD

Congratulations to Anahit! She has passed her PD defence with flying colors and will go on to do a postdoc in the lab of Alexander Sher at UC Santa Cruz.

How to Do MEA Recordings from the Retina?

Multi-electrode array recordings are very popular to study the retina. In the past couple of yours, we have developed and perfected the methodology of using perforated MEAs for this purpose, which give exquisite signal-to-noise ratio. We have published a methods paper today with step-by-step instructions to do this, so that other labs can also successfully apply this technique. The technique was predominantly developed by Katja, Alexandra and Hartwig, but most other lab members have contributed to this paper as well.

Reinhard K, Tikidji-Hamburyan A, Seitter H, Idrees S, Mutter M, Benkner B, Münch TA. Step-by-step instructions for retina recordings with perforated multi electrode arrays. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 28;9(8):e106148. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106148. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25165854; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4148441.

Boris' Work Is Featured in a New Publication

Boris has characterized the behavior of treated animals in the publication  

Carido M, Zhu Y, Postel K, Benkner B, Cimalla P, Karl MO, Kurth T, Paquet-Durand F, Koch E, Münch TA, Tanaka EM, Ader M. Characterization of a Mouse Model With Complete RPE Loss and Its Use for RPE Cell Transplantation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Aug 7;55(8):5431-44. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-14325. PubMed PMID: 25103259.

FASEB Meeting 2014

We made a  strong showing at the FASEB meeting on Retinal Neurobiology and Visual Processing in Saxtons River, VT, USA, June 22-27. With 9 posters and participants, we might have been the lab with most presentations. Alexandra's and Natalia's abstracts have been chosen to be presented in the poster highlights sessions.

ARVO Meeting in Orlando, Florida

Katja, Marion and Alexandra participated at the ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) meeting in Orlando, Florida, from May 4 to 8. The ARVO meeting is the largest meeting of its kind. Marion and Katja presented posters on their work with human retina, with Katja receiving a travel grant and a poster award. Alexandra's abstracts have been selected for talks, presented by herself and by me.

Alexandra's Abstracts Selected for Presentation

Alexandra has submitted two abstracts to the ARVO meeting in Orlando, Florida. Both have been selected to be presented as talks during the meeting, which means that they have received the highest ratings by the program commitee. Congratulations!

Katja Wins Travel Grant and Poster Award

Katja Reinhard has been awarded a travel grant to participate at the ARVO meeting 2014 in Orlando, Florida. In addition, her abstract has been selected as one of the 5 best posters and will participate in the "Members in Training" poster competition. Congratulations, Katja!

Saad Idress Joins the Lab

Today, Saad Idrees joined our lab as a new PhD student. Welcome!

Marion Publishes her Study on Improving Optogenetic Vision

Congratulations to Marion!

Her study on improving optogenetic vision has been published today by PLOS ONE. In this paper, we show how the properties of channelrhodopsin can be adjusted so that optogenetic vision can be feasible over a 100-fold bigger brightness range than with current approaches.

See also: Press release of the University

Katja Wins Lush Prize

Congratulations to Katja! Today, she has been given the Lush Prize 2013 in the category "Young Researcher". The Lush Prize honors new developments in the replacement of animal experiments. katja won the prize for establishing in vitro experiments with human retina. The Lush prize comes with a £12.500 bursary.

Katja's prize has been prominently featured in the newspaper (Reutlinger Generalanzeiger and Schwäbisches Tagblatt). See also the Press release of the University and of the Pro-Retina Foundation.

Nadine Is Back!

Welcome back to Nadine! After her time off for maternal leave, Nadine is back in the lab.

One Day It Had to Happen...

Marion has finished her Master, and is now officially a PhD student! Congratulations for her excellent work and magnificent master's thesis!

Biwei Is Starting her Lab Rotation

Welcome to Biwei Huang, Masters Student in the Graduate School for Neural Information Processing in Tübingen.

Boris Publishes his Behavioral Vision Test in "Behavioral Neuroscience"

Congratulations to Boris! His newly developed analysis routine for evaluating visual behavior in mice and other small animals has been published in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Some press coverage: Bernstein Network, Press release of the Universit of TübingenMedicalExpressPRO RETINA, WVAOAugenspiegelSchattenblick, Vision Research.

We have also been visited by Monika Seynsche from Deutschlandfunk, who has produced a radio report about the work:

Welcome to Tamara Simonyan and Dana Cobb

We are happy that two excellent students are joining our lab today for internships. Tamara Simonyan is joining our lab for 3 months as a DAAD exchange student. Dana Cobb is coming with a Baden-Württemberg stipend to work with us for 6 weeks. Welcome!

May We Present... Dr. Alexandra Tikidji-Hamburyan

Congratulation! Alexandra defended her thesis today, and is now the very first PhD graduate from our laboratory. She is off for a post doc with E.J. Chichilnisky at the Salk Institute in San Diego.

Anahit Wins Poster Prize

Today, Anahit won the ZEISS Scientific Poster Award at the Young Researcher Vision Camp, featuring her work on characterizing the effects of the jimpy mutation on the retina and retinal processing.

Natalia, Katja, and Hartwig also participated in the Camp, that brought together well over 100 young vision scientists from all over Europe.

Janet Is Joining for a Lab Rotation

Janet Giehl, Masters student at the Neuroscience Graduate School,  joined our lab for a lab rotation. Welcome!

Katja Receives ProRetina PhD Fellowship

Congratulations! Katja won a PhD Fellowship from the Pro-Retina Foundation for her project to investigate visual processing of the human retina in vitro.

The Pro Retina Foundation is a patient-led organization devoted to finding cures for degenerative eye diseases.

Britni Publishes a Neuron Paper

Congratulations to Britni Crocker! Her excellent work during her lab rotation has made it into a publication in Neuron. Today, Neuron published our work that we have performed in collaboration with Frank W. Pfrieger from the Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neuroscience (INCI) at the University of Strasbourg.

Marion Joins the Lab as a Master's Student

Marion Mutter has joined our lab today to work on her Master's project. She has already worked for a while with Boris, where she assisted him with behavior experiments. Welcome!

We Are Moving...

It is quite some work to pack a whole lab, let alone a whole institute... Starting from April 16, 2012, we will be located in our brand new lab building at Ottfried-Müller-Str. 25, right next to the Hertie Institute.

Farewell to Nadine

Nadine is taking a leave of absence. Good luck, all the best, and thank you for your great work!

Welcome to Elisabeth Gustafsson

We are very happy that Elli is joining our lab as a technical assistant.

Congratulations to Alexandra!

Alexandra's abstract has been accepted at this years ARVO meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA. In addition to being invited to give a talk about her work, Alexandra has also received a travel grant.

Jennifer Joins the Lab for a Lab Rotation

Jennifer Rubel, Masters student at the Neuroscience Graduate School,  joined our lab for a lab rotation. She will stay until the beginning of April.

Paper Published together with Gáspár Jékely

Our collaboration with the group of Gáspár Jékely from the Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology has led to a first publication which appeared today in PNAS. Together, we have studied the physiology of the larvae of the marine polychaete Platynereis dumerilii.

Welcome to Natalia Swietek and Jad Saab!

Natalia and Jad joined our lab today. Natalia will do her PhD in our lab, while Jad is starting a 10-week lab rotation as part of his Master's education.

Welcome to Katja Reinhard!

Katja Reinhard started today in our lab to work towards her PhD. Welcome!

Natalia Receives a PhD Stipend of the Pro-Retina Foundation

Congratulations! Natalia Swietek has received a PhD stipend of the Pro-Retina Foundation, which enables her to commence her PhD work in our lab starting this fall.

Girls Day 2011

18 girls, from 7th to 12th grade, from schools in and around Tübingen, visited our lab today during the Girls' Day 2011. They learned about the tricks of the trade when doing behavioral experiments to asses the quality of vision.

Hartwig and Alexandra Accepted for Spring and Summer Schools

Congratulations to Hartwig and Alexandra!

Hartwig was accepted for the "Paris School of Neuroscience - Spring School 2011" on Optical Imaging and Electrophysiological Recording in Neuroscience from April 12 - April 20.


Alexandra was accepted to the "Okinawa Computational Neuroscience Course 2011" from June 13 - June 30.

Radio Broadcast on SWR4

The German Research Council today announced their decision on the first round of the next Excellence Initiative. The local Tübingen radio station, SWR4, took this as an opportunity to make a program about the CIN, with information about our lab's work. There is also an interview with the CIN's speaker, Peter Thier (starting at 3:56 in the audio file).

Alexandra Receives a CNV Stipend

Congratulations! Alexandra Tikidji-Hamburyan has received a stipend of the Christiane-Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation

Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience

Our laboratory is part of the Tübingen Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience.

Our Research is Featured in the DFG Movie about the CIN

The CIN is featured in a movie clip published on the DFG website. Our research is described in this film! Check out the DFG website to see the movie (German or English).

Best Publication in 2009

Our paper on the detection of approaching objects in the retina has been selected the Best Publication in 2009 by the European vision research community.