reseaRch groups

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Camilla Bellone
Synaptic brain dysfunctions 

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Anne-Lise Giraud
Auditory, Speech and Language Neuroscience

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Denis Jabaudon 
Cortical circuit formation
 

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Christoph Michel 
Functional Brain mapping lab

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Patrik Vuilleumier 
Neurology & Imaging of Cognition

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Laurent Bernheim 
Muscle cells

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Anthony Holtmaat 
Cortical plasticity
 

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 Jozsef Zoltan Kiss 
Development and repair of the cerebral cortex

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Alexandre Pouget
Computational neuroscience 

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Alan Carleton
Systems Neuroscience

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Daniel Huber
Systems Neuroscience
 

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Christian Lüscher 
Addiction
 

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Sophie Schwartz 
Sleep and Cognition

Affiliated Clinical Groups

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Alexandre Dayer 
(Département de psychiatrie)
L'étiologie de maladies psychiatriques sévères

Guido

Guido Ferretti 
(Département d'anesthésiologie, pharmacologie et soins intensifs)
Métabolisme énergétique

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Laszlo Vutskits
(Département d'anesthésiologie, pharmacologie et soins intensifs)
Anesthésie et neurosciences

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Karl Schaller 
(Département de neurosciences cliniques)
Neurochirurgie

honorary members

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 Michel Mühletaler 
Sleep circuits

Hon Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Geneva. Medical activity in Switzerland and Kinshasa (Congo). Research carrier in Lausanne, Cambridge (UK), Paris and Geneva. Former Chairman and Professor of Pharmacology; President of the “Société Genevoise de Neuroscience”, Corresponding Member of the “Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique”. Member of the International Society of Neurochemistry, of the Société des Neurosciences, etc.

Yves Dunant

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Dominique Müller
Plasticité des synapses excitatrices

nn C. Kato took her Ph.D. degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and from 1974 to 1977, she did her post-doctoral training at the Collège de France, Paris. In 1977 she joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva where she was Professor in the Department of Basic Neuroscience. Her field of research is related to diseases of the nervous system and in 2003, she received the Bruno and Ilse Frick Prize for ALS research in Switzerland. She was Vice-president and then President of the Swiss Society for Neuroscience from 1996 to 2000. In 1997, she created “Brain Week” at the University of Geneva and she organized the event until 2004; she is the founder of the Lake Geneva Innovation Society, an honorary member of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain and was an elected member of the Western European Chapter of the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) (2003-2008). She was President of the Swiss Committee for organising the 2008 Federation of European Meeting of Neurosciences (FENS) in Geneva, President of the Frick ALS Foundation and of the Fonds Falk-Vairant. Since 2005, she and her husband have been sponsoring a girl’s school in Sri Lanka that was severely damaged in the tsunami (www.girls-education.ch) and she writes a column in the Swiss newspaper “Le Temps”.

Ann Kato

In the brain, fast synaptic transmission is mediated by neurotransmitters which exert their excitatory or inhibitory effects by acting on postsynaptic ionotropic receptors. In addition, central neurons synthesize, release and are affected by neuromodulators, the function of which is to regulate the responsiveness of postsynaptic neurons to fast neurotransmitters. A variety of compounds (e.g. neuropeptides, catecholamines, cholinergic agonists) can play a role as neuromodulators. They do so by acting on metabotropic receptors (e.g. neuropeptide receptors) or ionotropic receptors (e.g. nicotinic acetylcholine receptors). Our aim is to investigate the mechanism of action of selected neuromodulators in central neuronal circuits. We use advanced electrophysiological recordings and Ca ++ measurement techniques. As preparations, we use brain slices or organotypic cultures of neuronal tissue. We are currently interested in the following research themes: i) Action of vasopressin on brainstem and spinal motor circuits. ii) Action of tachykinins in hippocampal circuits. iii) Effects of nicotinic agonists in the endocrine hypothalamus and in autonomic centers of the spinal cord. The influence that these compounds exert on specific neuronal networks probably constitute the neurobiological substrate responsible of their effects on more integrative brain functions, like autonomic regulation, motor control and cognition. Our cellular neurophysiological approach, coupled to morphological, physiological, genetic and behavioral investigations carried out in other laboratories, should contribute to an understanding of the role of neuromodulators in the brain.

Mario Raggenbass