Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Schmidt, Manuela, Dr.


  • Since 2012: Emmy Noether Group Leader
  • 2007-2012: Postdoc with Ardem Patapoutian, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA
  • 2002-2006: PhD, Neurosciences, International Max Planck School Neurosciences, Laboratory of Stephan Sigrist, ENI-G, Goettingen, Germany
  • 2001-2002: Master, Neurosciences, International Max Planck School Neurosciences, Goettingen, Germany
  • 1997-2002: Diploma, Biology, University of Wuerzburg, Germany




Major Research Interests

The perception of and appropriate reaction to external and internal stimuli is critical for survival. In vertebrates, chemical, mechanical (from pleasant touch to painful contact) and thermal stimuli are detected by specialized somatic sensory neurons which transfer these signals via the spinal cord to the brain. An important subset of these neurons, so-called nociceptors, senses noxious stimuli. Consequently, their activation mediates nociception and leads to the sensation of pain.
Pain is the single most common symptom for which patients seek medical assistance. While acute pain has served as a protective mechanism throughout evolution to guard the body against injury, pain can also become chronic and highly debilitating. Unfortunately, chronic pain imposes substantial challenges to medical practice: current therapies can be effective for short-term treatment however many do not provide sufficient relief to chronic conditions or cause strong side-effects. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying both, acute and chronic pain is crucially needed.
Our research focuses on the comparative and quantitative analysis of somatosensory signaling networks in established mouse models of acute and chronic pain. To this purpose our lab employs interactomics, genetic profiling, calcium-imaging, electrophysiology, neuronal tracing and mouse behavioral studies in order to address key questions:

  • What are the specific dynamic changes that occur at the molecular, cellular and network levels in nociceptors during acute and chronic pain?
  • How are these changes mirrored in pain-related regions of the central nervous system?


  • Homepage Department/Research Group

    http://www.em.mpg.de/index.php?id=311



    Selected Recent Publications



    • Bruderer R, Sondermann J, Tsou CC, Barrantes-Freer A, Stadelmann C, Nesvizhskii AI, Schmidt M, Reiter L, Gomez-Varela D (2017).
      New targeted approaches for the quantification of data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry.
      Proteomics [Epub ahead of print]
    • Gomez-Varela D, Schmidt M (2016).
      Exploring novel paths towards protein signatures of chronic pain.
      Mol Pain. 12, 1744806916679658-1744806916679658
    • Narayanan P, Sondermann J, Rouwette T, Karaca S, Urlaub H, Mitkovski M, Gomez-Varela D, Schmidt M (2016).
      Native Piezo2 Interactomics Identifies Pericentrin as a Novel Regulator of Piezo2 in Somatosensory Neurons.
      J Proteome Res. 15, 2676-2687
    • Avenali L, Abate Fulas O, Sondermann J, Narayanan P, Gomez-Varela D, Schmidt M (2016).
      Nocistatin sensitizes TRPA1 channels in peripheral sensory neurons.
      Channels (Austin). [Epub ahead of print]
    • Rouwette T, Sondermann J, Avenali L, Gomez-Varela D, Schmidt M (2016).
      Standardized Profiling of The Membrane-Enriched Proteome of Mouse Dorsal Root Ganglia (DRG) Provides Novel Insights Into Chronic Pain.
      Mol Cell Proteomics. 15, 2152-2168