Translational Optogenetics Group

Optogenetics uses the genes encoding microbial visual pigments and artificially introduces them into other cell types, such as neurons. Since these microbial proteins are light-activated ion pumps and channels, the membrane potential and thus the activity of the modified cells can now be steered optically by light. This fascinating methodology has revolutionized the field of neuroscience over the last decade and enables us to steer animal behavior by light.
The aim of our laboratory is the development and implementation of optogenetic tools for clinical use. For this we tailor optogenetic tools and application methods for specific therapeutic approaches. We presently focus on the development of treatments for skin cancer and blindness. Methods employed in our team include molecular biology, qPCR, FACS, electrophysiology (in vitro, ex vivo, ERG), cell culture, virus production, immunology, mouse behavior and transgenic mouse models.