Neuroimmunology in Health and Disease
Identifying brain function has primarily concentrated on how environmental signals are encoded within a complex neuronal network – the impact of the immune system was mostly overlooked. The Siegert group focuses on how neurons and microglia interact with each other and how malfunctions within this relationship impact neuronal circuit formation and function in health and disease.
Microglia are the CNS-resident macrophages and continually sense their neuronal environment. They switch between functional states that either promote or counteract removal of circuit elements. But how microglia decide when to alter circuit elements without inducing circuit malfunction is not known. Activated microglia are a feature of CNS pathologies such as glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, it is important to study the contribution of these cells and to develop strategies for manipulating them in a beneficial manner. The Siegert lab addresses this using the mammalian retina, which consists of morphologically well-defined cell types that are precisely mapped in their connection and functional properties. They combine molecular biology, virology, genomics, computational, and functional imaging as well as iPS technology to translate their observations to a human-relevant perspective.
On this site:
Senior Laboratory Technician
Ryan John Cubero
Florianne Schoot Uiterkamp
What defines microglial reactivity and how can we manipulate it? | How do microglia impact neuronal function?
Venturino A, Schulz R, De Jesús-Cortés H, Maes ME, Nagy B, Reilly-Andújar F, Colombo G, Cubero RJ, Schoot Uiterkamp FE, Bear MF, Siegert S. 2021. Microglia enable mature perineuronal nets disassembly upon anesthetic ketamine exposure or 60-Hz light entrainment in the healthy brain. Cell Reports. 36(1), 109313. View
Maes ME, Colombo G, Schulz R, Siegert S. 2019. Targeting microglia with lentivirus and AAV: Recent advances and remaining challenges. Neuroscience Letters. 707, 134310. View
Tsai L, Siegert S. 2016. How MicroRNAs Are involved in splitting the mind. JAMA Psychiatry. 73(4), 409–410. View
since 2015 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2011 – 2015 Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
2010 PhD, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
2017 Liese Prokop Award
2016 ERC Starting Grant
2013 SWISS OphthAWARD
2012 HFSP Long-term Fellowship
2011 EMBO Long-term Fellowship
2011 SNSF Fellowship for prospective researchers