LIFE SCIENCES

Jonas Group

Synaptic Communication in Hippocampal Microcircuits

Synapses enable communication between neurons in the brain. The Jonas group investigates how signals pass through these vital interfaces – a major undertaking in the field of neuroscience.

Understanding the function of the brain is a major challenge in the 21st century. The human brain comprises ~10 billion neurons, which communicate through ~10000 synapses per cell. Excitatory synapses use glutamate as a transmitter, whereas inhibitory synapses release Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). The group addresses two major questions. First, what are the biophysical signaling and plasticity mechanisms at glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses in the cortex? Second, how do specific synaptic properties generate higher network functions? In their work, the group combines nanophysiology, presynaptic patch-clamp and multi-cell recording, two-photon Ca2+ imaging, optogenetics, in vivo recording, and modeling. One focus is hippocampal mossy fiber synapses and output synapses of parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic interneurons

Group Leader


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Team

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Christina Altmutter

Laboratory Technician

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Yoav Ben Simon

Postdoc

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Carolina Borges Merjane

Postdoc


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Jingjing Chen

PhD Student

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Claudia Espinoza Martinez

PhD Student

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Olena Kim

PhD Student

+43 2243 9000 4788


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Eleftheria Kralli Beller

Assistant to Professors

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Florian Marr

Senior Laboratory Technician

+43 2243 9000 3702

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Yuji Okamoto

Postdoc


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Magdalena Picher

Postdoc

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Scientific Computing

+43 2243 9000 1042

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Benjamin Suter

Postdoc


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David Vandael

Postdoc

+43 2243 9000 0

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Victor Vargas Barroso

Postdoc

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Xiaomin Zhang

Postdoc

+43 2243 9000 7651


Current Projects

Projects Nanophysiology of fast-spiking, parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic interneurons | Biophysics and circuit function of hippocampal mossy fiber synapses | Analysis of neuronal coding in vivo and in realistic network models


Recent Publications

Espinoza Martinez CM, Guzmán J, Zhang X, Jonas PM. 2018. Parvalbumin+ interneurons obey unique connectivity rules and establish a powerful lateral-inhibition microcircuit in dentate gyrus. Nature Communications. 9(1), 4605. View

Hu H, Roth F, Vandael DH, Jonas PM. 2018. Complementary tuning of Na+ and K+ channel gating underlies fast and energy-efficient action potentials in GABAergic interneuron axons. Neuron. 98(1), 156–165. View

Chen C, Satterfield R, Young S, Jonas PM. 2017. Triple function of Synaptotagmin 7 ensures efficiency of high-frequency transmission at central GABAergic synapses. Cell Reports. 21(8), 2082–2089. View

Strüber M, Sauer J, Jonas PM, Bartos M. 2017. Distance-dependent inhibition facilitates focality of gamma oscillations in the dentate gyrus. Nature Communications. 8(1). View

Chen C, Jonas PM. 2017. Synaptotagmins: That’s why so many. Neuron. 94(4), 694–696. View

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Career

since 2010 Professor, IST Austria
1995 – 2010 Professor of Physiology and Department Head, University of Freiburg, Germany
1994 – 1995 Associate Professor, Technical University of Munich, Germany
1990 – 1994 Research Assistant, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
1988 – 1989 Postdoc, University of Giessen, Germany
1987 MD / PhD, University of Giessen, Germany


Selected Distinctions

2019 EMBO Membership
2018 Erwin Schrödinger Prize, Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
2016 FWF Wittgenstein Award
2016 ERC Advanced Grant GIANTSYN
2016 Elected Member Editorial Board, Neuron
2015 Member, Academia Europaea
2011 ERC Advanced Grant NANOPHYS
2009 Adolf Fick Award, Physical-Medical Society, Würzburg, Germany
2008 Member, Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg, Germany
2007 Member of the Board of Reviewing Editors, Science
2007 Tsungming Tu Award, National Science Council Taiwan
2006 DFG Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award
2002 Member, German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
1998 Max Planck Research Award
1997 Medinfar European Prize in Physiology, President of Portugal
1994 BMBF Heinz Maier Leibnitz Award
1992 DFG Heisenberg Fellowship


Additional Information

Download CV
Open Jonas group website



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