Participant 19: UROST
Universität Rostock, Institute of Biological Sciences, Dept. Cell Biology and Biosystems Technology, Rostock, Germany
Participant leader: Prof. Dr. Dieter Weiss
The University of Rostock is a full University founded in 1419 as the oldest in Northern Germany and Scandinavia, with 9 Faculties (strength in Natural Sciences, Engineering and Medicine), with 14000 students. Prof. Weiss’s group specializes in neuronal cell biology, physiology, toxicology and pharmacology and is fully equipped for cellular and molecular biology and runs a major Live Cell Imaging Center. He did his Ph-D work in neurochemistry at Psychopharmacology Unit, Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Munich. After positions at the Institutes of Zoology of both Munich Universities he has since 1993 been a Full Professor for Animal Physiology at University of Rostock. He and his co-workers contributed techniques for live cell imaging of neurons and for the 64channel electrophysiology analyses of neuronal cell ensembles on micro-electrode arrays. The technology is based on years of previous research analyzing the electrical activity pattern changes caused by transmitter receptor agonists and antagonists. Active compounds are added to the neuro-sensorchip cultures and the quantitative analysis of the electrical pattern changes is used to identify the compound class, the target receptor types and to give predictive information for clinical relevance of the tested compounds. The system has already been successfully applied to high-content screening in studies of selected alkaloid analgesics, anaesthetics and anticonvulsive compounds in close collaboration with the newly founded partner company NeuroProof GmbH..
Principal scientific personnel involved:
Prof. Dieter G. Weiss, chair of Animal Physiology (M): neurophysiology and neurotoxicology of neuronal networks; live cell imaging and cell-based high content test systems; video, spectral and confocal microscopy
Dr. Alexandra Gramowski: expert in network neurophysiology and pharmacology; anaesthetics, opiates and transmitter receptor studies in vitro.
Prof. Dietmar Schiffmann: pharmaco-toxicology; neurotoxicology; in vitro-toxicology, action of xenobiotics on neuronal networks; molecular toxicology of environmental toxins, cancerogens and mutagens.
Dr. Sergei A. Kuznetsov: head of Live Cell Imaging Center Rostock (confocal, FRET, FRAP, video and spectral microscopy’s, GFP-based expression studies, organelle motility).
Baerbel Redlich (F): senior neuronal network cell culture and cell biology specialist.
Role of the participant in the project and main tasks:
The participant is responsible for 2D neuronal network cultures and analyses in WP2.4 of their functional properties by means of neurochip neurophysiology and High Content Imaging (Cellomics, coordinated with WP4.2) and verifying pathways of toxicity.