Collaborative research center being renewed

May 26, 2021


German Research Foundation funds CRC "Synaptic Micronetworks in Health and Disease"  for another four years

Member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation Prof. Heinz Beck is spokesperson of the recently renewed CRC.

The mammalian brain is extraordinarily complex - it is estimated to consist of around 100 billion nerve cells. Each of these cells is linked via synapses to tens of thousands of other brain cells. How do the elements of such a complex network work together to produce behavior? How do the networks change as a result of disease? For eight years, scientists have been investigating these and other questions in the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1089 "Synaptic Micronetworks in Health and Disease" at the University of Bonn. With great success: The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the interdisciplinary network for another four years. The requested funding amount is around 11.1 million euros. Partners are the caesar research center in the Max Planck Society and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn.

At the most elementary level, the researchers want to investigate the properties of individual synapses - the contact points between nerve cells. They also want to investigate how these connections between brain cells are affected by diseases in their structure and function. At the next level up, the scientists want to find out how the many tens of thousands of synaptic input signals that arrive at cell processes of the nerve cells, so-called dendrites, are processed. Here, too, the focus is on epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. At the level of neuronal networks, the researchers are interested in understanding the interplay between different types of nerve cells in the development of normal and pathologically disturbed behavior. To achieve these goals, mathematical and theoretical methods will be increasingly applied in the third funding period.

The researchers in the interdisciplinary CRC 1089 aim to make a significant contribution to a better understanding of how the brain works. However, a particular goal is also to investigate brain dysfunction in two of the most common neurological diseases: Epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. The speaker of the Collaborative Research Center is the neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Heinz Beck, head of the Institute for Experimental Epileptology and Cognition Research at the University and the University Hospital of Bonn and a member of the ImmunoSensation2 Cluster of Excellence. Vice speaker is the biochemist Prof. Dr. Susanne Schoch McGovern from the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Bonn.


Prof. Dr. Heinz Beck, Speaker
Institute for Experimental Epileptology and Cognitive Research, University of Bonn, University Hospital Bonn
Phone: +49 228 6885270
Email: Heinz.Beck(at)

Prof. Dr. Susanne Schoch McGovern, Vice Speaker
Institute of Neuropathology, University of Bonn, University Hospital Bonn
Phone: +49 228 28719109
Email: susanne.schoch(at)