Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience

Department 40
Leader: István Katona

Research groups of the Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience Department seek to understand the molecular architecture and function of the signalling systems and cell-cell interactions that define the physiological and pathological processes of the nervous system. They aim to reveal interactions that are crucial for the functioning and fine-tuning of synapses (e.g. the endocannabinoid system) as well as for the cross-talk between neurons and glial cells at nanoscale resolution and in real time. A main focus of their research is the understanding of the central and peripheral inflammation processes of the nervous system, with a special emphasis on the microglia, the main immunocompetent cell type important in inflammation processes of the brain. Furthermore, they work on identifying alterations of the molecular architecture of the signalling systems at pathological states in order to find new targets for drug therapies of various neurological diseases. To achieve these goals, they use cutting edge technologies, such as super-resolution microscopy, single mRNA tissue in situ hybridization, paired patch-clamp recordings, two-photon-microscopy, selective microglia manipulation, electrontomography, flow cytometry and various in vitro and in vivo models of neuroinflammation.