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European Neuroscience Institute, Göttingen
Grisebachstraße 5

37077 - Göttingen

+49 551 39 13903
+49 551 39 20150

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Dr Camin Dean
Trans-synaptic Signaling
European Neuroscience Institute, Göttingen

Research Area

Our lab is interested in the mechanisms by which individual synapses, neurons and circuits dynamically adjust their transmission properties in response to changes in neuronal network activity. To accomplish this, neurons signal to eachother not only unidirectionally via classical pre to post-synaptic transmission, but also bidirectionally via pre or post-synaptic release of neuropeptides and neurotrophins. This bidirectional channel of communication is essential for the modulation of synapse and circuit strength, via regulation of distinct membrane fusion events on both sides of the synapse, including synaptic vesicle exocytosis, post-synaptic receptor recycling, and adhesion molecule recycling. We investigate the mechanisms by which these trans-synaptic signaling events are regulated, at the level of single synapses, single neurons and neuronal networks, using a combination of live imaging approaches, electrophysiology, and biochemistry in neuronal cell culture and brain slices. Our overall goal is to understand how neurons communicate changes in activity to affect circuit function, and ultimately behavior, during learning and memory acquisition, or to counteract aberrant brain states such as seizure activity.

Please see also:


5 Selected Publications

Liu H., Chapman ER., Dean C. (2013) "Self" versus "Non-Self" Connectivity Dictates Properties of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity. PLoS One, 8 (4): e62414.

Dean C., Dunning FM., Liu H., Bomba-Warczak E., Martens H., Bharat V., Ahmed S., Chapman ER. (2012) Axonal and dendritic synaptotagmin isoforms revealed by a pHluorin-syt functional screen. Mol. Biol. Cell., 23 (9): 1715-27.

Dean C., Liu H., Staudt T., Stahlberg MA., Vingill S., Bückers J., Kamin D., Engelhardt J., Jackson MB., Hell SW., Chapman ER. (2012) Distinct subsets of syt-IV/ BDNF vesicles are sorted to axons versus dendrites and recruited to synapses by activity. J. Neurosci., 32 (16): 5398-5413.

Dean C., Liu H., Dunning FM., Chang PY., Jackson MB., Chapman ER. (2009) Synaptotagmin-IV modulates synaptic function and LTP by regulating BDNF release. Nat Neurosci., 12 (6): 767-76.

Zhang Z., Bhalla A., Dean C., Chapman ER., Jackson MB. (2009) Synaptotagmin IV: a multifunctional regulator of peptidergic nerve terminals. Nat. Neurosci., 12(2):163-71.


Fellowship, Awards and Honours

2012            DFG Grant: Function of synaptotagmin isoforms in dense core vesicle fusion, ENI (until today)
2012            ENC-Erasmus Mundus (until today)
2012            DFG SFB 889: The role of synaptotagmins in olfactory processing, ENI (until today)
2011            European Research Council Starting Independent Researcher Grant SytActivity, ENI (until today)
2010            Sofja Kovalevskaja Alexander von Humboldt award, ENI (until today)
2009            Epilepsy Foundation fellowship, University of Wisconsin, Madison (until 2010)
2005            NIH NRSA fellowship, University of Wisconsin, Madison (until 2008)
1999            Neuroscience Training Grant, University of California, Berkeley (until 2002)

Technical Expertise