Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences

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



    • Hurtado-Zavala JI, Ramachandran B, Ahmed S, Halder R, Bolleyer C, Awasthi A, Wagener RJ, Anderson K, Drenan RM, Lester HA, Miwa JM, Staiger JF, Fischer A, Dean C. TRPV1 regulates excitatory innervation of OLM neurons in the hippocampus. Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 19;8:15878.
    • Burk K, Murdoch JD, Freytag S, Koenig M, Bharat V, Markworth R, Burkhardt S, Fischer A, Dean C. EndophilinAs regulate endosomal sorting of BDNF-TrkB to mediate survival signaling in hippocampal neurons. Sci Rep. 2017 May 19;7(1):2149.
    • Burk K, Ramachandran B, Ahmed S, Hurtado-Zavala JI, Awasthi A, Benito E, Faram R, Ahmad H, Swaminathan A, McIlhinney J, Fischer A, Perestenko P, Dean C. Regulation of Dendritic Spine Morphology in Hippocampal Neurons by Copine-6. Cereb Cortex. 2017 Feb 3:1-18.
    • Wolfes AC, Ahmed S, Awasthi A, Stahlberg MA, Rajput A, Magruder DS, Bonn S, Dean C. A novel method for culturing stellate astrocytes reveals spatially distinct Ca2+ signaling and vesicle recycling in astrocytic processes. J Gen Physiol. 2017 Jan;149(1):149-170.
    • Ramachandran B, Ahmed S, Dean C. Long-term depression is differentially expressed in distinct lamina of hippocampal CA1 dendrites. Front Cellular Neurosci 2015 Feb 5;9:23.
    • Ramachandran B, Ahmed S, Zafar N, Dean C. Ethanol inhibits long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 neurons, irrespective of lamina and stimulus strength, through neurosteroidogenesis. Hippocampus. 2015 Jan;25(1):106-18.
    • Shinoda Y, Ahmed S, Ramachandran B, Bharat V, Brockelt D, Altas B, Dean C. BDNF enhances spontaneous and activity-dependent neurotransmitter release at excitatory terminals but not at inhibitory terminals in hippocampal neurons. Front Synaptic Neurosci. 2014 Nov 10;6:27.
    • Liu H, Chapman ER, Dean C. "Self" versus "Non-Self" Connectivity Dictates Properties of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity. PLoS One. 2013 Apr 29;8(4).
    • Dean C, Dunning FM, Liu H, Bomba-Warczak E, Martens H, Bharat V, Ahmed S, Chapman ER. Axonal and dendritic synaptotagmin isoforms revealed by a pHluorin-syt functional screen. Mol. Biol. Cell. 2012 May 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. Distinct subsets of syt-IV/ BDNF vesicles are sorted to axons versus dendrites and recruited to synapses by activity. J. Neurosci. 2012 Apr 18;32(16):5398-5413.
    • Dean C, Liu H, Dunning FM, Chang PY, Jackson, MB, Chapman, ER. Synaptotagmin-IV modulates synaptic function and LTP by regulating BDNF release. Nature Neurosci. 2009 Jun 12(6):767-76.
    • Dean C, Scholl FG, Choih J, DeMaria S, Berger J, Isacoff E, Scheiffele P. Neurexin mediates the assembly of presynaptic terminals. Nature Neurosci. 2003 Jul;6(7):708-16.