New members @ ZNZ

The Neuroscience Center Zurich welcomes its new members.

New ZNZ research group leaders:

Dr. Mirko Santello
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, UZH


Our research aims at understanding the role of the cortex in pathological pain processing. We use a mouse model of migraine to evaluate the influence of central pain control mechanisms in migraine headache. We employ electrophysiological and imaging techniques (in situ and in vivo) to unravel specific neuronal plasticity mechanisms that are responsible for migraine and we especially focus our attention on malfunctions of neuronal dendrites and glial cells.  More
Dr. Olivier Urwyler
Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, UZH

Urwyler_150x150We use a genetic approach to study synapse development and synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system (CNS). Combining it with cutting-edge imaging techniques, we developed a novel experimental paradigm for exploring the formation of specific synapses in the CNS at single-neuron resolution. In the future, these tools will be used to study synapse dynamics and plasticity in-vivo.  More
PD Dr. med Dominik Ettlin
Center of Dental Medicine, UZH

Our research interest focuses on neural processes underlying dental, oral and facial pain. We investigate central processing of trigeminally mediated stimuli, delivered by state-of-the-art technology developed together with ETH Zurich. These tools are MR-compatible so that we can employ fMRI and fMRS for cortical imaging during stimulation.  More
Dr. med. Ruxandra Bachmann-Gagescu
Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, UZH

Bachman_Gagescu_150x150We explore a group of human Mendelian disorders called ciliopathies which are unified by shared genetic causes resulting in primary cilium dysfunction. Primary cilia are small non-motile organelles present on the surface of most vertebrate cells where they are involved in transduction of sensory, mechanical or chemical signals and in regulation of signaling pathways during development and cell homeostasis. More

New ZNZ junior research group leaders

Dr. Salome Kurth
University Hospital Zurich


The composition of bacteria in the human gut is increasingly recognized as a health marker, which relates to brain plasticity and behavior. These gut microbiota evolve rapidly during the first years of life. By investigating the interplay of sleep behavior and gut microbiota during infant development we hope to improve our understanding of the factors linked to neurodevelopment and to identify predictors of brain connectivity and functional outcome. More
Dr. Yulia Sandamirskaya
Institute of Neuroinformatics, UZH & ETH

Sandamirskaya_150x150We work on development of embodied cognitive systems using neuromorphic technology and conceptual and mathematical framework of Dynamic Neural Fields. Dynamic Neural Fields describe dynamics of large homogeneous neuronal populations, which can account for psychophysics of cognitive abilities (such as, e.g., working memory, perceptual processes, learning, or executive control) and their development, and can be used to control cognitive robots.  More