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Curriculum Vitae Prof. Dr. Reto Weiler

date of birth:17.05.1947
birth place: Wädenswil (Switzerland)

Scientific career

1972Diplom der Philosophischen Fakultät II, University of Zurich
1977Doctoral degree as Dr. rer. nat., University of Munich
1978Postdoc, Neurophysiology, CNR, Pisa, Italy
1979-1986Assistant/Associate Professor, University of Munich
1981-1983Research Fellow, Lions Sight Centre, Medical Faculty, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
1982Habilitation (Dr. rer. nat. habil.), University of Munich
1986 until nowProfessor for Neurobiology, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg
1991/1997/2002Visiting Professor, Biomedical School, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
1996-2003Coordinator Collaborative Research Center “Neurocognition”
2003-2004Director of the Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
2004 until nowDirector of the Research Center “Neurosensory Systems”
2004-2012Speaker of the DFG Research Unit “Dynamic and Stability of Retinal Processing”
2004-2012Elected Member of the Neuroscience Panel of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
2005-2008Vice President for Research, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
2008 until nowRector of the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, Institute for Advanced Study, Delmenhorst
2013Member of the Scientific Council of Austria

Honours

1981Swiss Medical Academy Award, Switzerland
1987Taniguchi-Award, Japan
1990Max-Planck-Research Prize, Germany
1997International Research Award, National Research Council of Australia, Australia
2002Honorary Professor, University of Queensland, Australia
2008Merit-Award “Oldenburger Bulle” of the city of Oldenburg, Germany
2012Boycott Award of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, FASEB, USA

Research interests

Vision originates in the retina where captured photons are transduced by the photoreceptors into a neuronal signal. From these signals the retinal network computes the elementary visual features like contrast, contours, colours and movements which are then encoded in spike trains and transferred to the visual brain by the optic nerve. It is the goal of our research to contribute to the understanding of the functional architecture of the retinal network and the synaptic interactions which enable the retina to generate the elementary visual features. The complexity of the retinal network and its processing mechanisms can only be elucidated via a multi-method approach. Accordingly our approach combines molecular, neuroanatomical and electrophysiological techniques. Over the past years, we have concentrated our efforts on the following topics:

Neuronal adaptation. Synaptic interactions at the first synapse between the photoreceptors and horizontal cells: Synaptic plasticity; Spinule formation; Feedback mechanisms; Neuromodulators. Electrical Synapses. Molecular and functional analysis of gap junctions: Rod pathway in the mammalian retina; Horizontal cell coupling; Ganglion cell networks; Formation of gap junctions; Neuromodulation of gap junctional conductivity. Functional architecture of amacrine cells. Morphological and physiological characterisation: Interactions of dopaminergic and rod amacrine cells; Dendritic processing in widefield amacrine cells; Classification of displaced amacrine cells. Ganglion cell coding. Analysis of population coding by multielectrode recordings


Publications 2008-2012

Trümpler J, Dedek K, Schubert T, Perez de Sevilla Müller L,Seeliger M, Humphries P, Biel M, Weiler, R. Rod and cone contributions to horizontal light responses in the mouse retina. J. Neuroscience 28, 6818-6825 (2008)

Dedek K, Pandarinath C, Alam NM, Wellershaus K, Schubert T, Willecke K, Prusky GT, Weiler R, Nirenberg S. Ganglion cell adaptability: does the coupling of horizontal cells play a role? PLoS One, 3(3):e1714 (2008)

von Hauff E, Meteleva-Fischer Y, Parisi J, Weiler R. Binding and release of glutamate from overoxidized polypyrrole via an applied potential for application as a molecular switch. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung A 63a, 359 (2008)

Fuchs K, von Hauff E, Parisi J, Weiler R. Voltage Regulated Uptake and Release of L-Glutamate from a Molecularly Selective Switch for Physiological Applications. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung 64a, 879–880 (2009).

Feigenspan A, Trümpler J, Dirks P, Weiler R. Ether-à-gogo related gene (erg1) potassium channels shape the dark response of horizontal cells in the mammalian retina. Pflugers Arch. 458, 359-377 (2009)

Janssen-Bienhold J, Trümpler J, Hilgen G, Schultz K, Müller LP, Sonntag, S, Dedek K, Dirks P, Willecke K, Weiler R. Connexin57 is expressed in dendro-dendritic and axo-axonal gap junctions of mouse horizontal cells and its distribution is modulated by light. J. Comp. Neurol. 513, 363-374 (2009)

Meteleva-Fischer, Y., von Hauff, E., Parisi, J., Weiler, R. Electrochemical synthesis and characterization of polypyrrole layers for use in biocompatible retinal implants. J. Appl. Poly. Sci. 114, 4051 (2009)

E. von Hauff, K. Fuchs, D. Ch. Hellmann, J. Parisi, R. Weiler, U. Kraushaar, C. Burkhard, E. Günther. Biocompatible molecularly imprinted polymers for the voltage regulated uptake and release of L-glutamate in neural pH solutions. Biosensors and Bioelectronics (2010)

Feigenspan A, Dedek K, Schlich K, Weiler R, Thanos S. Expression and biophysical characterization of voltage-gated sodium channels in axons and growth cones of the regenerating optic nerve. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 51, 1789-1799 (2010)

Pettigrew J, Callistemon C, Weiler A, Gorbushina A, Krumbein W, Weiler R. Living pigments in Australian Bradshaw rock art. Antiquity 084 (2010)

Müller LP, Dedek K, Janssen-Bienhold U, Meyer A, Kreuzberg MM, Lorenz S, Willecke K, Weiler R. Expression and modulation of connexin 30.2, a novel gap junction protein in the mouse retina. Vis. Neurosci. 27, 91-101 (2010)

Pottek M, Knop GC, Weiler R, Dedek K. Electrophysiological characterization of GFP-expressing cell populations in the intact retina. J Vis Exp. 57, e3457 (2011).

Seeliger MW, Brombas A, Weiler R, Humphries P, Knop G, Tanimoto N, Müller F. Modulation of rod photoreceptor output by HCN1 channels is essential for regular mesopic cone vision. Nature Communication 2, 532 (2011)

Knop GC, Feigenspan A, Weiler R, Dedek K. Inputs underlying the ON-OFF light responses of type 2 wide-field amacrine cells in TH::GFP mice. J. Neuroscience 31, 4780-4791 (2011)

Hilgen G, von Maltzahn J, Willecke K, Weiler R, Dedek K. Subcellular Distribution of Connexin45 in OFF Bipolar Cells of the Mouse Retina. J Comp Neurol. 519, 433-50 (2011)

Becker K, Jährling N, Saghafi S, Weiler R, Dodt HU. Chemical clearing and dehydration of GFP expressing mouse brains. PLoS ONE 7(3): e33916. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033916 (2012)

Sonntag S, Dedek K, Dorgau B, Schultz K, Schmidt KF, Cimiotti K, Weiler R, Löwel S, Willecke K, Janssen-Bienhold U. Ablation of retinal horizontal cells from adult mice leads to rod degeneration and remodeling in the outer retina. J. Neuroscience 32, 10713-10724 (2012)

Kranz K, Dorgau B, Pottek M, Herrling R, Schultz K, Bolte P, Monyer H, Penuela S, Laird DW, Dedek K, Weiler R, Janssen-Bienhold U. Expression of Pannexin1 in the outer plexiform layer of the mouse retina and physiological impact of its knock-out. J Comp Neurol. doi: 10.1002/cne.23223 (2012)

Hilgen G, Huebner AK, Tanimoto N, Sothilingam V, Seide C, Garcia Garrido M, Schmidt KF, Seeliger MW, Löwel S, Weiler R, Hübner CA, Dedek K. Lack of the sodium-driven chloride bicarbonate exchanger NCBE impairs visual function in the mouse retina. PLoS ONE 7(10):e46155. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046155 (2012)

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