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Research Group Proteostasis (Dr. Mateusz C. Ambrozkiewicz)

The research group investigates how regulation of protein status, i.e. specific ways of protein synthesis and folding as well as defined degradation pathways orchestrate cortical development.

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Summary of work program

Cerebral cortex is considered the crowning achievement of mammalian brain evolution. Higher cognitive capacity of the human cortex enables us to process sensory information, filter instinctive behaviors, speak a language and feel love. The development of the cortex is a tightly orchestrated sequence of events, guarded by a plethora of signaling cascades and spatiotemporal molecular and cellular transitions. To form this elegant structure, cortical neurons need to be specified from their mother stem cells, correctly migrate to their respective residence, polarize to generate the recipient dendritic tree and the action potential transmitting axon and specify their synaptic connections. Disturbances to any of these developmental milestones, resulting from environmental insults, as well as inherent DNA mutations, often lead to severe diseases, including for example a broad autism spectrum, but also rare Kaufman oculocerebrofacial syndrome.



Our interests

In our group, we try to understand how regulation of protein status, i.e. specific ways of protein synthesis and folding as well as defined degradation pathways are linked to the cortical development. We also ask how malfunctioning of these processes translate into relevant human diseases. We are particularly enthralled in phenomena acting on a post-transcriptional gene expression level and their in vivo relevance, regarding the milestones of cortical development. In our research, we use state-of-the-art in utero electroporation, mouse genetics, cell and slice cultures, a broad range of microscopy techniques (apart from standard confocal, light sheet and expansion microscopy), biochemical assays and high-throughput mass spectrometry. Our mission is to extend current understanding of how cortex is formed and how it executes is superior functions.


Dr. Andrew Woehler, BIMSB, Berlin, Germany
Dr. Agnieszka Rybak-Wolf, BIMSB, Berlin, Germany
Dr. Olaf Jahn, MPIem/UMG, Berlin, Germany
Dr. Philipp Mertins, MDC, Berlin, Germany
Dr. Camin Dean, DZNE, Berlin, Germany
Dr. Hiroshi Kawabe, Gunma University, Japan
Prof. Gali Prag, Tel Aviv, Israel
Dr. Matthew Kraushar, MPImolgen, Berlin, Germany