Prof. Klaus-Armin Nave, Ph.D. (short CV)
The Department of Neurogenetics uses transgenic techniques, natural and engineered mouse mutants and the tools of molecular / cellular biology to study neural development and the pathomechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.
A major focus of our research is on neuron-glia interactions that result in the assembly of myelin in the nervous system. Neuronal processes (axons) exhibit signaling molecules that are recognized by Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes. These highly specialized glial cells wrap and electrically insulate axons in the peripheral and central nervous system, respectively. Myelin allows the fast propagation of electrical impulses, but glial cells are also required for axonal maintenance. This line of research helps us to understand the molecular mechanisms of human neurological diseases in which genetic mutations cause myelin loss and defects of motor and cognitive function.
The development of the mammalian nervous system is controlled by genetic programs that regulate gene expression in neuronal and glial cells. One line of our research focusses on regulatory genes, that encode basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors in the developing cortex. We are addressing the question whether these are required not only for brain development, but also for neuronal plasticity and structural changes in the mature brain, that have been associated with learning and long-term memory.
Prof. Klaus-Armin Nave, Ph.D.
Phone: +49 (551) 3899 - 757
Fax: +49(0)551 3899 - 758