Wolf, Fred, Prof. Dr.

Professor of Dynamics and Biologica Physics at the University of Göttingen
Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization

  • since 2021 Director of the Göttingen Campus Institute for Dynamics of Biological Networks, Georg-August-University Göttingen and Max Planck Society
  • since 2021 Professor of Dynamics and Biological Physics, Georg-August-University Göttingen
  • since 2019 Spokesperson of the German Research Foundation Priority Programme “Evolutionary Optimization of Neuronal Processing”
  • since 2019 Fellow of the Max Planck School Matter to Life
  • since 2018 Member of the DFG Excellence Cluster “Multiscale Bioimaging: from Molecular Machines to Networks of Excitable Cells”, University of Göttingen
  • since 2018 Acting founding director “Campus Institute for Dynamics of Biological Networks”
  • since 2017 Head of Research Group ‘Computer Modelling’ at the Center for Biostructural Imaging of Neurodegeneration (BIN), Göttingen
  • since 2015 Leibniz ScienceCampus Primate Cognition, Co-director
  • 2015 - 2018 Collaborative Research Cluster: Primate Cognition,Göttingen Campus,Steering Board Member
  • 2015 – 2018 Collaborative Research Cluster: Physics to Medicine, Göttingen Campus, Co-director
  • 2015 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS)
  • since 2013 Director Bernstein Centre for Computational Neuroscience, Göttingen
  • 2011-2014: Steering board member and Section Coordinator for Computational Neuroscience, German Neuroscience Society, University of Göttingen, Germany
  • 2010: Program Director, “Emerging Techniques in Neuroscience”, Kavli-Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara, USA
  • 2008-2014: Steering Committee of Bernstein Focus for Neurotechnology
  • 2008-2021: Professor of Physics (hon.), Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany
  • 2006 - 2011: Steering Committee of the International Max Planck Research School Neurosciences, Göttingen, Germany
  • since 2004: Head of the Research Group ‘Theoretical Neurophysics’, Department of Nonlinear Dynamics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen
  • 2001 - 2004: Research Associate, Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung, Göttingen
  • 2000: Amos de Shalit Fellow, Racah Institute of Physics and Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1999 Dr. phil. nat., Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt

Major Research Interests

• Evolution of neuronal circuits in the visual cortex. We discovered that these biological neural networks follow apparently universal quantitative laws. Using theoretical physics and computational science approaches, we analyze the underlying mechanisms and evolutionary optimization principles.

• Dynamics and sensory information processing in large-scale cortical circuits. Here we use the ergodic theory of network dynamical systems to link cellular dynamics to information representation and decay on the circuit scale.

• Biophysics and dynamics of high-bandwidth encoding by neuron populations in the cerebral cortex. Here we are integrating concepts from non-equilibrium statistical physics with the biophysics of membranes and ion channels. We aim at a new generation of dynamically faithful neuron models and are particularly interested in the evolutionary optimization of neuron populations to meet the processing requirements in complex circuits.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Steffens H, Mott AC, Li S, Wegner W, Švehla P, Kan VWY, Wolf F, Liebscher S, Willig KI (2021) Stable but not rigid: Chronic in vivo STED nanoscopy reveals extensive remodeling of spines, indicating multiple drivers of plasticity. Science Advances 7(24):eabf2806
  • Jafari M, Schumacher AM, Snaidero N, Ullrich Gavilanes EM, Neziraj T, Kocsis-Jutka V, Engels D, Jürgens T, Wagner I, Weidinger JDF, Schmidt SS, Beltrán E, Hagan N, Woodworth L, Ofengeim D, Gans J, Wolf F, Kreutzfeldt M, Portugues R, Merkler D, Misgeld T, Kerschensteiner M (2021) Phagocyte-mediated synapse removal in cortical neuroinflammation is promoted by local calcium accumulation. Nature Neuroscience 24(3):355-367
  • Ho CLA, Zimmermann R, Flórez Weidinger JD, Prsa M, Schottdorf M, Merlin S, Okamoto T, Ikezoe K, Pifferi F, Aujard F, Angelucci A, Wolf F, Huber D (2021) Orientation Preference Maps in Microcebus murinus Reveal Size-Invariant Design Principles in Primate Visual Cortex. Current Biology 31(4):733-741.e7
  • Harris SS, Wolf F, De Strooper B, Busche MA (2020) Tipping the Scales: Peptide-Dependent Dysregulation of Neural Circuit Dynamics in Alzheimer’s Disease. Neuron 107(3):417-435
  • Sato M, Mizuta K, Islam T, Kawano M, Sekine Y, Takekawa T, Gomez-Dominguez D, Schmidt A, Wolf F, Kim K, Yamakawa H, Ohkura M, Lee MG, Fukai T, Nakai J, Hayashi Y (2020) Distinct Mechanisms of Over-Representation of Landmarks and Rewards in the Hippocampus. Cell Reports 32, 107864
  • Puelma Touzel M, Wolf F (2019) Statistical mechanics of spike events underlying phase space partitioning and sequence codes in large-scale models of neural circuits. Physical Review E 2019 May; 99(5-1):0524027
  • Lazarov E, Dannemeyer M, Feulner B, Enderlein J, Gutnick JM, Wolf F, Neef A (2018) An axon initial segment is required for temporal precision in action potential encoding by neuronal populations. Science Advances 4(11):eaau8621
  • Palmigiano, Geisel T, Wolf F, Battaglia D (2017) Flexible information routing by transient synchrony. Nature neuroscience 20 (7), 1014