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Head:PD Dr. Dirk Montag
Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology
The development and maintenance of a funtional central nervous system capable to perform complex tasks such as learning and memory rely on the coordinated expression and specific regulation of genes. The identification and functional characterization of these genes may allow a better understanding of the performance of higher nervous systems both in healthy and diseased states.
The aim of the Neurogenetics team is to identify and characterize genes providing the molecular basis for processes underlying learning and memory. Since changes at synapses are considered important for learning and memory, we are particularly interested in genes encoding proteins which play a role in the formation, modulation, and plasticity of synapses. Cloning and molecular characterization of novel genes is complemented by genetic approaches to study the function of neural cell recognition molecules and immediate-early genes in vitro and in vivo. The major experimental approach is the generation and analysis of mouse mutants obtained after homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells (inducible knock-out, gene targeting).