Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Schwab, Markus, Dr.

Group leader: Cortical Development, Department of Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine

  • 2002-present Group Leader, Department of Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine
  • 1998-2002 Postdoc, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California
  • 1998 Dr. rer. nat. (Biology), University of Heidelberg

Major Research Interests

The human brain is an intricate network of neurons and glia cells that communicate via multiple signaling systems. The goal of our research is to identify the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate the development and adult function of excitatory projection neurons as well as their interactions with inhibitory interneurons and myelin-producing glia cells. Furthermore, we study pathological processes that compromise cellular communication in the brain, and thereby may promote the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.

We study these processes using genetically modified mice that permit spatially and temporally controlled genetic interventions. Our research is focused on two protein families, the neuronal basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors and neuronal growth factors, the neuregulins. These proteins are important regulators of axonal growth and myelination, and thus critically required for the formation of functional networks in the peripheral and central nervous system. In addition, these factors modulate synaptic functions and contribute to learning and memory processes in the adult brain.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Bormuth I, Yan K, Yonemasu T, Gummert M, Zhang M, Wichert S, Grishina O, Pieper A, Zhang W, Goebbels S, Tarabykin V, Nave KA, Schwab MH (2013). Neuronal basic helixloop-helix proteins Neurod2/6 regulate cortical commissure formation before midline interactions. J. Neurosci. 33, 641-651.
  • Velanac V, Unterbarnscheidt T, Hinrichs W, Gummert MN, Fischer TM, Rossner MJ, Trimarco A., Brivio V, Taveggia C, Willem M, Haass C, Möbius W, Nave KA, Schwab MH (2012). Bace1 processing of NRG1 type III produces a myelin-inducing signal but is not essential for the stimulation of myelination. Glia 60, 203-217.
  • Agarwal A, Dibaj P, Kassmann CM, Goebbels S, Nave KA, Schwab MH (2012). In vivo imaging and non-invasive ablation of pyramidal neurons in adult NEX-CreERT2 mice. Cerebral Cortex 22, 1473-1486.
  • Heermann S, Schmücker J, Hinz U, Rickmann M, Unterbarnscheidt T, Schwab MH, Krieglstein (2011). Neuregulin 1 type III/ErbB signaling is crucial for Schwann cell colonization of sympathetic axons. PLOS ONE 6: e28692.
  • Brinkmann BG, Agarwal A, Sereda MW, Garratt AN, Mueller T, Wende H, Stassart RM, Nawaz S, Humml C, Velanac V, Radyushkin K, Goebbels S, Fischer TM, Franklin RJ, Lai C, Ehrenreich H, Birchmeier C, Schwab MH*, Nave KA (2008). Neuregulin-1/ErbB signaling serves distinct functions in myelination of the peripheral and central nervous system. Neuron 59, 581-595. *co-corresponding author