a typical teaching situation in a practical course

MSc Cell Biology and PhysiologyM8MSc Interdisciplinary NeurosciencesA11


Developmental Neurobiology


TopicThe practical course offers basic theoretical and experimental knowledge in the area of developmental neurobiology. Principal areas of research include the development and plasticity of the synapse and migration of neurons during cortex development. You will be taking part in ongoing experiments in the laboratory to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of these processes.
Content and competenceYour work will include basic techniques in mouse genetics and the handling of a mouse colony, processing of brain tissue for in situ hybridization and immunohistochemisty, isolation of primary hippocampal and cortical neurons from mice, transfection of primary neurons, immunofluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, biochemical techniques including protein gel electrophoresis, western blot and immunoprecipitation. By the end of the course you have been in direct contact with mice and you learnt how to handle a mouse colony. Finally you will present your results in form of a written protocol and a talk. You will also attend weekly lab meetings where you get a glance on the ongoing research of the group members. In the Journal Club you will be presenting a recent publication referring to the field of your project. You will be working in an international environment and learn how to structure, write and communicate your results in English.
LecturerAcker-Palmer laboratory
Module completion examGraded protocol
Times offeredUpon application
Duration4 weeks block practical including seminars

MSc Cell Biology and PhysiologyM6bMSc Interdisciplinary NeurosciencesA1b


Cellular and molecular basis of signal transfer (in the nervous system)


TopicThe main focus of this course is the analysis of adult neural stem cells in vitro and in vivo. We will teach you how to isolate primary neural stem cells from the mouse brain, to identify their proliferation and differentiation potential in vitro and to localize and characterize stem cell niches in vivo. We are going to perform si-RNA knockdown approaches and transfect cells with plasmids encoding specific enzymes, which are subsequently functionally characterized.
Content and competenceThe practical focuses on basic techniques applied in cellular and molecular neurobiology. You are going to work on your own project with supervision and present your results in the form of a seminar talk. Moreover you will give a talk on an original piece of research from the field of cellular and molecular neurobiology. You learn how to present scientific work through writing up an appropriate protocol containing your results.
The practical techniques you will perform include: sterile work and culture and transfection of primary cell cultures and stable cell lines, immuno- and enzyme histochemistry, knock-down via siRNA, transfection of cells (electroporation, lipofection), genotyping of transgenic mice (PCR), isolation and differentiation of adult neural stem cells, independent use of a fluorescence microscope and computer-aided evaluation of lab data and image data, familiarity with anesthetizing lab animals, independent work on scientific problems based on relevant publications.
LecturerDr. K. Gampe/Prof. Dr. W. Volknandt
Module completion examGraded protocol
Times offeredOnce a year first semester half of the summer semester
Duration5 weeks block practical including seminars