Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences
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Dean, Camin, Ph.D.

  • 2003: Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University

  • 2004-2010: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin, Madison

  • since 2010: Group Leader, European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen

  • Major Research Interests

    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 each other 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.

    Homepage Department/Research Group



    • Zhang G, Bai H, Zhang H, Dean C, Wu Q, Li J, Guariglia S, Meng Q, Cai D (2011) Neuropeptide exocytosis involving synaptotagmin-4 and oxytocin in hypothalamic programming of body weight and energy balance. Neuron 69(3):523-35

    • Lee H, Dean C, Isacoff E (2010) Alternative splicing of neuroligin regulates the rate of presynaptic differentiation. J Neurosci 30(34):11435-46

    • Arthur CP, Dean C, Pagratis M, Chapman ER, Stowell MH (2010) Loss of synaptotagmin IV results in a reduction in synaptic vesicles and a distortion of the Golgi structure in cultured hippocampal neurons. Neuroscience 167(1):135-42

    • Dean C, Scheiffele P (2009) Imaging synaptogenesis by measuring accumulation of synaptic proteins. In Imaging in Developmental Biology: A Laboratory Manual. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols. R. Wong, J. Sharpe and R. Yuste eds. (11):pdb.prot5315

    • Liu, H, Dean, C, Arthur, CP, Dong, M, Chapman, ER (2009) Autapses and networks of hippocampal neurons exhibit distinct synaptic transmission phenotypes in the absence of synaptotagmin I. J. Neurosci 29(23):7395-403

    • Dean C, Liu H, Dunning FM, Chang PY, Jackson, MB, Chapman, ER (2009) Synaptotagmin-IV modulates synaptic function and LTP by regulating BDNF release. Nature Neurosci (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

    • Dong M, Yeh F, Tepp WH, Dean C, Johnson EA, Janz R, Chapman ER (2006) SV2 is the protein receptor for botulinum neurotoxin A. Science 312(5773):592-6

    • Dean C, Dresbach T. Neuroligins and neurexins: linking cell adhesion, synapse formation and cognitive function (2006) Trends Neurosci 29(1):21-9. Review

    • Baksh MM, Dean C, Pautot S, Demaria S, Isacoff E, Groves JT (2005) Neuronal activation by GPI-linked neuroligin-1 displayed in synthetic lipid bilayer membranes. Langmuir 21(23):10693-8

    • Dean, C, Scheiffele, P (2004) Imaging synaptogenesis by measuring accumulation of synaptic proteins in transfected neurons. In Imaging in Neuroscience and Development, R. Yuste & A. Konnerth eds.

    • Dean C, Scholl FG, Choih J, DeMaria S, Berger J, Isacoff E, Scheiffele P (2003) Neurexin mediates the assembly of presynaptic terminals. Nature Neurosci 6(7):708-16

    GGNB Dean


    Camin Dean, Ph.D.
    European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen
    Trans-synaptic Signaling
    Grisebachstr. 5
    37077 Göttingen

    Tel.: +49-(0)551-3913903
    Fax: +49-(0)551-3920150
    e-mail: c.dean@eni-g.de

    GGNB Affiliation
    Neurosciences (IMPRS)
    Molecular Physiology of the Brain (C