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Professor Gero MiesenböckBack to People

Gero-Miesenboeck
Subjects: Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience
Department: Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics
College appointment: Professorial Fellow
Phone: 01865 282261

Background

Gero Miesenböck is Waynflete Professor of Physiology and Director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour. Gero studied medicine at the University of Innsbruck in his native Austria and did postdoctoral research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He was on the faculty of Yale University before coming to Oxford in 2007.

Research Interests

We study the elementary logic of information processing in the brain. Animals do not employ an endless variety of brain circuits but rather a limited set: circuits that compare signals, apply thresholds, integrate information; oscillators that keep time, buffers that hold the intermediates of computation, memory to write to and read from. We identify these circuits in behavioural tests, delineate their wiring diagrams, and dissect how they work. Much of our research is done in fruit flies, where it is possible to gain detailed insight into molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms of brain function that relate directly to human health.

Selected Publications

  • DasGupta, S., Ferreira, C.H., and Miesenböck, G. (2014) FoxP influences the speed and accuracy of a perceptual decision in Drosophila. Science 344: 901–904.
  • Lin, A.C., Bygrave, A.M., de Calignon, A., Lee, T., and Miesenböck, G. (2014) Sparse, decorrelated odor coding in the mushroom body enhances learned odor discrimination. Nat. Neurosci. 17: 559–568.
  • Donlea, J.M., Pimentel, D., and Miesenböck, G. (2014) Neuronal machinery of sleep homeostasis in Drosophila. Neuron 81: 860-872.
  • Parnas, M., Lin, A.C., Huetteroth, W., and Miesenböck, G. (2013) Odor discrimination in Drosophila: From neural population codes to behavior. Neuron 79: 932–944.
  • Miesenböck, G. (2009) The optogenetic catechism. Science 326: 395–399.
  • Claridge-Chang, A., Roorda, R.D., Vrontou, E., Sjulson, L., Li, H., Hirsh, J., and Miesenböck, G. (2009) Writing memories with light-addressable reinforcement circuitry. Cell 139: 405–415.
  • Miesenböck, G. (2008) Lighting up the brain. Scientific American 299: October 2008, 52–59.
  • Clyne, J.D., and Miesenböck, G. (2008) Sex-specific control and tuning of the pattern generator for courtship song in Drosophila. Cell 133: 354–363.
  • Lima, S.Q., and Miesenböck, G. (2005) Remote control of behavior through genetically targeted photostimulation of neurons. Cell 121: 141–152.
  • Zemelman, B.V., Lee, G.A., Ng, M., and Miesenböck, G. (2002) Selective photostimulation of genetically chARGed neurons. Neuron 33: 15–22.