, Events

We are MIBE Speaker Series: Prof. Thomas Misgeld & Prof. Arthur Konnerth

At each event, two Principal Investigators (PIs) of MIBE will provide exciting insights into their research. After the talks, which take around 25 minutes each, there is plenty of time for networking.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Misgeld: Mitochondrial diversity and plasticity in the healthy and inflamed nervous system
Prof. Dr. Arthur Konnerth: Imaging synapses in the living brain

Date and Time: Wednesday, January 10th, 2024, 4:15 pm – around 5:15 pm, afterwards networking
Place: MIBE lecture hall (room E.126), Boltzmannstraße 11, 85748 Garching and Zoom

About the Speakers

Prof. Thomas Misgeld

Professor Misgeld is a neurobiologist, who explores the mechanisms that contribute to the degeneration of axons and synapses in neurological diseases and during normal brain development. His research team employs in vivo microscopy in the peripheral and central nervous systems of mice and zebrafish.

"Improving the lives of MS patients" - TUMcampus (2023/1)
"Immune cells attack synapses" - Press release (2021)

Image: DZNE / Frommann

Prof. Arthur Konnerth

Prof. Konnerth explores basic processes of brain function. By means of electrophysiology, imaging and cell biological approaches, he focuses on synaptic interactions in neuronal circuits in order to achieve a better understanding of mechanisms that underlie learning and memory. A further goal is the elucidation of the neuronal defects that are associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

"Direct toxic action of beta-amyloid identified" - Press release (2019)

Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM

On the topics of the talks

Mitochondrial diversity and plasticity in the healthy and inflamed nervous system

In this talk, Thomas Misgeld will discuss the mechanisms of mitochondrial homeostasis and the changes that mitochondria undergo in the inflamed nervous system. Changes in mitochondrial structure and dynamics are an early sign of axonal injury in multiple sclerosis and its animal models. Together with their colleagues, the Misgeld lab has developed a range of in vivo imaging and omics tools that allow the visualization and profiling of mitochondria that exist within neuroinflammatory CNS lesions. This talk will focus on changes in the bioenergetic status of axons and their mitochondria and the underlying alterations in key metabolic pathways.

Imaging synapses in the living brain

The monitoring of the function and structure of single synapses in the intact living brain tissue was pioneered by Connor and colleagues, who used CCD cameras for the imaging of strongly activated single synapses on CA3 neurons in guinea pig hippocampal slices. During the following years, spine calcium imaging with improved sensitivity and better spatiotemporal resolution in brain slices relied on confocal or two-photon microscopy. The first in vivo two-photon calcium imaging recordings of single synaptic inputs were performed in mouse visual and auditory cortices, and were based on detection of calcium entry through NMDA receptor channels located in dendritic spines. A limitation of calcium imaging when recording single spine synaptic events is the ambiguity resulting from calcium signaling evoked by back-propagating action potentials. This problem is avoided when imaging extracellularly released glutamate. An advanced method of two-photon fluorometric glutamate imaging with single synapse resolution on vivo was recently published.

In my presentation, I will report progress on the use of two-photon glutamate imaging for the characterization of thalamocortical synapses to layer 4 neurons in the mouse visual cortex in vivo. In these recordings, we identified fundamental properties of thalamocortical synapses to layer 4 neurons, each of which represents individual upstream lateral geniculate nucleus neurons with characteristic receptive fields. Overall, our results validate on the single synapse level some of the basic aspects of the Hubel and Wiesel theory on orientation-selectivity in mammalian visual cortex neurons and add information on unexpected and unique mechanisms of thalamocortical synapses.

Further Information

There will be a live-stream for this event via zoom: https://tum-conf.zoom.us/j/612 2888 8412 Passcode: waMIBE

Recognition Qualification Program for Doctoral Candidates
If you're doing your doctorate within the field of biomedical engineering, regular participation in the speaker series can be counted towards subject-specific qualification in DocGS.
Registration form for doctoral candidates

Further Talks in this Series in Winter Term 2023/24

The next We are MIBE talks will be taking place on the following Wednesdays at 4:15 pm:

  • February 7th, 2024 Prof. Ruth Müller & Prof. Marcello Ienca
  • February 28th, 2024 Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos & Prof. Franz Pfeiffer