Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences
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Rizzoli, Silvio, Prof. Dr.

Group Leader STED Microscopy of Synaptic Function

  • 2000 - 2004 Research assistant with William Betz at the Dep. of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (USA)

  • 08/2004 PhD degree (Physiology) awarded by the University of Colorado

  • 2004 - 2007 Post doctoral fellow with Reinhard Jahn at the Neurobiology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany)

  • since 2007 Group Leader (STED Microscopy) at the European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen (ENI-G)

  • Major Research Interests

    Conventional fluorescence microscopy is limited by the diffraction of light: fluorescent objects that are close together cannot be discerned. Stimulated emission depletion (STED) is a recent advancement in optical physics that breaks the diffraction barrier, allowing microscopes to obtain much clearer images.

    The diffraction barrier has been particularly problematic for imaging synaptic vesicles, which are among the smallest known organelles (30-50 nm in diameter). They are located in small areas in the synapses (about 1 micron in diameter). The group takes advantage of the increased imaging resolution provided by STED to investigate synaptic vesicle function, with an emphasis on synaptic vesicle recycling. Since STED microscopy also allows imaging of protein domains, the group aims at studying the patterning of protein domains in the synapse, in order to understand its molecular architecture.

    Homepage Department/Research Group


    Selected Recent Publications

    • Opazo F, Levy M, Byrom M, Schäfer C, Geisler C, Groemer TW, Ellington AD, Rizzoli SO (2012) Aptamers as potential tools for super-resolution microscopy. Nat Methods 9, 938-939

    • Denker A, Bethani I, Kröhnert K, Körber C, Horstmann H, Wilhelm BG, Barysch SV, Kuner T, Neher E, Rizzoli SO (2011a) A small pool of vesicles maintains synaptic activity in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108:17177-17182

    • Denker A, Kröhnert K, Bückers J, Neher E, Rizzoli SO (2011b) The reserve pool of synaptic vesicles acts as a buffer for proteins involved in synaptic vesicle recycling. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:17183-17188

    • Wilhelm BG, Groemer TW, Rizzoli SO (2010) The same synaptic vesicles drive active and spontaneous release. Nat Neurosci 13:1454-1456

    • Hoopmann P, Punge A, Barysch SV, Westphal V, Bückers J, Opazo F, Bethani I, Lauterbach MA, Hell SW, Rizzoli SO (2010) Endosomal sorting of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:19055-19060

    • Kamin D, Lauterbach MA, Westphal V, Keller J, Schönle A, Hell SW, Rizzoli SO (2010) High- and low-mobility stages in the synaptic vesicle cycle. Biophys J 99:675-684

    • Barysch SV, Jahn R, Rizzoli SO (2010) A fluorescence-based in vitro assay for investigating early endosome dynamics. Nat Protoc 5:1127-1137

    • Opazo F, Punge A, Bückers J, Hoopmann P, Kastrup L, Hell SW, Rizzoli SO (2010) Limited intermixing of synaptic vesicle components upon vesicle recycling. Traffic 11:800-812

    • Barysch SV, Aggarwal S, Jahn R, Rizzoli SO (2009) Sorting in early endosomes reveals connections to docking- and fusion-associated factors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:9697-9702

    • Bethani I, Werner A, Kadian C, Geumann U, Jahn R, Rizzoli SO (2009) Endosomal fusion upon SNARE knockdown is maintained by residual SNARE activity and enhanced docking. Traffic 10:1543-1559

    • Denker A, Krohnert K, Rizzoli SO (2009) Revisiting synaptic vesicle pool localization in the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. J Physiol 587:2919-2926

    • *equal contribution

GGNB Rizzoli


Prof. Dr. Silvio O. Rizzoli
STED Microscopy of Synaptic Function
European Neuroscience Institute (ENI)
Grisebachstr. 5
37077 Göttingen

Tel.: +49-(0)551-39 33630
Fax: +49-(0)551-39 12346
e-mail: srizzol@gwdg.de


Molecular Biology (IMPRS)
Neurosciences (IMPRS)
Molecular Physiology of the Brain (C