Fiala, André, Prof. Dr.

Professor of Molecular Neurobiology of Behavior

  • 2008 Professor of Molecular Neurobiology of Behavior, University of Göttingen
  • 2008 Habilitation in Neurobiology and Genetics, University of Würzburg
  • 2001-2008 Research Assistant, University of Würzburg
  • 2000-2001 Research Fellow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York
  • 1996-1999 PhD student, Free University of Berlin
  • 1996 Degree (Diploma) in Biology, Free University of Berlin

Major Research Interests

We study neuronal mechanisms underlying olfaction, learning and memory, and goal-directed behavior using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. The fruit fly Drosophila offers the advantage of expressing transgenes in almost any population of it’s about 100.000 neurons. Transgenes used by us are, for example, fluorescent sensor proteins that allow us to monitor the spatio-temporal activity of neurons, or light-sensitive proteins by which neuronal activity can be stimulated through illumination. Using these optogenetic techniques in combination with behavioral analyses we aim at unraveling the functioning of dedicated neuronal circuits, and how these circuits contribute to organizing behavior. In addition, molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory processes are investigated.

Homepage Department/Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • Martelli C, Pech U, Kobbenbring S, Pauls D, Bahl B, Sommer MV, Pooryasin A, Barth J, Arias CWP, Vassiliou C, Luna AJF, Poppinga H, Richter FG, Wegener C, Fiala A, Riemensperger T (2017). SIFamide Translates Hunger Signals into Appetitive and Feeding Behavior in Drosophila.
    Cell Rep 20: 464-478.
  • Gupta VK, Pech U, Bhukel A, Fulterer A, Ender A, Mauermann SF, Andlauer TF, Antwi-Adjei E, Beuschel C, Thriene K, Maglione M, Quentin C, Bushow R, Schwärzel M, Mielke T, Madeo F, Dengjel J, Fiala A, Sigrist SJ (2016). Spermidine Suppresses Age-Associated Memory Impairment by Preventing Adverse Increase of Presynaptic Active Zone Size and Release. PLoS Biol 14: e1002563.
  • Riemensperger T, Kittel RJ, Fiala A (2016). Optogenetics in Drosophila neuroscience. Methods Mol Biol 1408: 167-75.
  • Pooryasin A, Fiala A (2015). Identified serotonin-releasing neurons induce behavioral quiescence and suppress mating in Drosophila. J Neurosci 35: 12792-812.
  • Pech U, Revelo NH, Seitz KJ, Rizzoli SO, Fiala A (2015). Optical dissection of experience-dependent pre- and postsynaptic plasticity in the Drosophila brain. Cell Rep 10: 2083-95.
  • AzimiHashemi N, Erbguth K, Vogt A, Riemensperger T, Rauch E, Woodmansee D, Nagpal J, Brauner M, Sheves M, Fiala A, Kattner L, Trauner D, Hegemann P, Gottschalk A, Liewald JF (2014). Synthetic retinal analogues modify the spectral and kinetic characteristics of microbial rhodopsin optogenetic tools. Nat Commun 5: 5810.
  • Andlauer TF, Scholz-Kornehl S, Tian R, Kirchner M, Babikir HA, Depner H, Loll B, Quentin C, Gupta VK, Holt MG, Dipt S, Cressy M, Wahl MC, Fiala A, Selbach M, Schwarzel M, Sigrist SJ (2014). Drep-2 is a novel synaptic protein important for learning and memory. Elife 2014 Nov 13;3. doi: 10.7554/eLife.03895.
  • Dawydow A, Gueta R, Ljaschenko D, Ullrich S, Hermann M, Ehmann N, Gao S, Fiala A, Langenhan T, Nagel G, Kittel RJ (2014). Channelrhodopsin-2-XXL, a powerful optogenetic tool for low-light applications. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111: 13972-7.
  • Vasmer D, Pooryasin A, Riemensperger T, Fiala A (2014). Induction of aversive learning through thermogenetic activation of Kenyon cell ensembles in Drosophila. Front Behav Neurosci 8: 174.
  • Barth J, Dipt S, Pech U, Hermann M, Riemensperger T, Fiala A (2014). Differential associative training enhances olfactory acuity in Drosophila melanogaster. J Neurosci 34: 1819-37.
  • Gupta VK, Scheunemann L, Eisenberg T, Mertel S, Bhukel A, Koemans TS, Kramer JM, Liu KS, Schroeder S, Stunnenberg HG, Sinner F, Magnes C, Pieber TR, Dipt S, Fiala A, Schenck A, Schwaerzel M, Madeo F, Sigrist SJ (2013). Restoring polyamines protects from age-induced memory impairment in an autophagy-dependent manner. Nat Neurosci 16: 1452-60.
  • Pech U, Dipt S, Barth J, Singh P, Jauch M, Thum AS, Fiala A, Riemensperger T (2013). Mushroom body miscellanea: transgenic Drosophila strains expressing anatomical and physiological sensor proteins in Kenyon cells. Front Neural Circuits 7: 147.
  • Pech U, Pooryasin A, Birman S, Fiala A (2013): Localization of the contacts between Kenyon cells and aminergic neurons in the Drosophila melanogaster brain using splitGFP reconstitution. J Comp Neurol 521: 3992-4026.
  • Fiala A (2013): Optogenetic approaches in behavioral neuroscience. In: P. Hegemann, S. Sigrist (Eds.), Optogenetics (Dahlem Workshop Reports). De Gruyter, ISBN 9783110270716.
  • Fiala A, Suska A, Schlüter OM (2010). Optogenetic approaches in neuroscience. Curr Biol 20: 897-903.
  • Kamikouchi A, Wiek R, Effertz T, Göpfert MC, Fiala A (2010). Transcuticular optical imaging of stimulus-evoked neural activities in the Drosophila peripheral nervous system. Nat Protoc 5: 1229-35.
  • Bellmann D, Richardt A, Freyberger R, Nuwal N, Schwärzel M, Fiala A, Störtkuhl KF (2010). Optogenetically Induced Olfactory Stimulation in Drosophila Larvae Reveals the Neuronal Basis of Odor-Aversion behavior. Front Behav Neurosci 4: 27.
  • Kamikouchi A, Inagaki HK, Effertz T, Hendrich O, Fiala A, Göpfert MC, Ito K (2009). The neural basis of Drosophila gravity-sensing and hearing. Nature 458: 165-71.
  • Fiala A (2007). Olfaction and olfactory learning in Drosophila: recent progress. Curr Opin Neurobiol 17: 720-6.
  • Schroll C, Riemensperger T, Bucher D, Ehmer J, Völler T, Erbguth K, Gerber B, Hendel T, Nagel G, Buchner E, Fiala A (2006). Light-induced activation of distinct modulatory neurons triggers appetitive or aversive learning in Drosophila larvae. Curr Biol 16: 1741-7.
  • Riemensperger T, Völler T, Stock P, Buchner E, Fiala A (2005). Punishment prediction by dopaminergic neurons in Drosophila. Curr Biol 15: 1953-60.