Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences

Schild, Detlev, Prof. Dr. Dr.

Professor of Physiology

  • 1979 Diplom in Physics, University of Göttingen
  • 1982 M.D., University of Göttingen
  • 1985 Dr. rer. nat., University of Göttingen
  • 1987 Dr. med., University of Göttingen
  • 1997 Appointed Head of the Department of Molecular Neurophysiology in the Center of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical School, University of Göttingen
  • 2012 Speaker of the Excellence Cluster "Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain"

Major Research Interests

We are trying to understand how the sense of smell works. Olfactory systems are able to detect and distinguish thousands of molecules in our environment. Receptor neurons are endowed with hundreds of different receptor molecules to bind odorants and transduce the chemical signals into electrical ones (Fig. 1). Chemosensory information is thus represented in a rather high-dimensional space. The receptor neurons, which code the hitting probability of odor molecules binding to their molecular receptors (Fig.2), eventually generate trains of action potentials, a one-dimensional vector of stochastic processes. They convey their information onto the brain, in particular the olfactory bulb, where the receptor neuron signals are transformed into a two-dimensional neuronal image of firing activities. Glomerula, small skeins of receptor nerve fibers and synapses in the olfactory bulb (Fig. 3), appear to be the heart of olfactory coding.

Using a combination of electrophysiological techniques, single molecule detection, photochemical and high resolution imaging techniques as well as computational and modeling methods, we are studying the biophysical and physicochemical details of
- the primary coding processes,
- the synaptic transmission in glomerula
- the generation of the neuronal chemotopic map as well as
- the processes and mechanism of odor learning and memory.

GGNB Schild Figure 1GGNB Schild Figure 2GGNB Schild Figure 3

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Bao G, de Jong D, Alevra M, Schild D (2015) Ca2+/BK channel clusters in olfactory receptor neurons and their role in odor coding. Eur. J. Neurosci., in press.

  • Alevra M, Schwartz P, Schild D (2012) Direct measurement of diffusion in olfactory cilia using a modified FRAP approach. PLoS ONE, 7(7), e39628

  • Breunig E, Kludt E, Czesnik D, Schild D (2011) The styryl dye FM1-43 supresses odorant responses in a subset of olfactory neurons by blocking cyclic nucleotide-gated (cng) channels.J. Biol. Chem., 286(32), 28041-28048

  • Junek S, Kludt E, Wolf F, Schild D (2010) Olfactory coding with patterns of response latencies. Neuron 67, 872-884

  • Breunig E, Manzini I, Piscitelli F, Gutermann B, Di Marzo V, Schild D, and Czesnik D (2010) The endocannabinoid 2-AG controls odor sensitivity in larvae of Xenopus laevis. J. Neurosci. 30, 8965-8973

  • Hassenklöver T, Schwartz P, Schild D, Manzini I (2009) Purinergic signaling regulates cell proliferation of olfactory epithelium progenitors. Stem Cells, 27, 2022-2031

  • Chen T-W, Lin B-J, Schild D (2009) Odor coding by modules of coherent mitral/tufted cells in the vertebrate olfactory bulb. PNAS 106, 2401-2406

  • Junek S, Chen T-W, Alevra M, Schild D Activity Correlation Imagin (2009) Visualizing Function and Structure of Neuronal Populations. Biophys J 96, 3801 - 3809

  • Czesnik D, Schild D, Kuduz J, Manzini I (2007) Endocannabinoid actions in the olfactory epithelium. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104, 2967-2972

  • Franze K, Grosche J, Skatchkov SN, Schinkinger S, Schild D, Uckermann O, Travis K, Reichenbach A, Guck J (2007) Spotlight on Glial Cells: Living Optical Fibers in the Vertebrate Retina. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104, 8287-8292