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Andréas Frick"Dynamics of cortical dendrites and networks in normal and diseased brain"

Abstract :

In my talk I will present previous work on activity-dependent changes in dendritic function as well as current work on the dendritic propagation of physiological firing patterns and the dynamics of cortical networks in the somatosensory (whisker
barrel) cortex during early postnatal development. Key findings of this work are as follows:
1) plasticity of dendritic channels suggests a novel locus for localized memory storage,
2) the temporal structure of physiological firing patterns determine how efficiently signals propagate into distal dendrites, and
3) connections formed by neocortical pyramidal neurons in the layer 5A microcircuit change during early postnatal development in a target-cell dependent manner. In the final part of the talk I will
discuss my future aspirations including the use of opto-genetic methods and the investigation of neural mechanisms underlying the mental retardation disorder Fragile X Syndrome.


Andreas Frick, Ph.D.
Max Planck Institute for Medical Research,
Heidelberg, Germany
1994 Diploma in Biology, summa cum laude
Technical University of Munich (TUM), Munich, Germany.
1999 Ph.D. in Neurobiology, summa cum laude
Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Neuropharmacology, Munich, Germany/ TUM.
2/1992-4/1992 Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida, USA.
Summer internship in Marine Biology:
1989, 1991, 1993 Texel, Netherlands, Sylt and Helgoland, Germany, Isla Giglio, Italy. Field work
in Marine biology.
8-9/1992 Max-Planck-Institute of Neurobiology, Munich, Germany.
Practical work experience in cellbiological and molecular techniques (PCR, cloning, DNA sequencing and analysis).
8/1992-12/1993 Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Munich, Germany.
Research Assistant in a study directed to investigate amyloidoses; immunological techniques (production of antigens, immunization of rabbits, immunological
tests for the antisera).
2/1994 - 11/1994 Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.
Diploma Thesis - Laboratory of Drs. Zieglgänsberger and Dodt: “The apical
dendrite: Electrophysiological studies on the regional distribution of specific
glutamate receptor subtypes on rat neocortical layer V pyramidal neurons.“
3/1995 - 3/1999 Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.
Ph.D. Thesis - Laboratory of Drs. Zieglgänsberger and Dodt: “Studies on the
glutamatergic neurotransmission on pyramidal neurons in the neocortex using infrared-guided photostimulation.“
1999 - 2002 Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA.
Summer Research with Dr. Daniel Johnston, in collaboration with Drs. Jeff Magee, Dejan Zecevic, Hiroshito Miyakawa, and Masashi Inoue.
6/1999-08/2004 Baylor College of Medicine, Division of Neuroscience, Houston, Texas,
USA. Postdoctoral Research Associate - laboratory of Dr. Daniel Johnston. 09/2004 until present Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research, Department of Cell Physiology, Heidelberg, Germany. Group Leader.


Selected publications

Chen X, Yuan LL, Zhao C, Birnbaum SG, Frick A, Jung WE, Schwarz TL, Sweatt JD, Johnston D.

Deletion of Kv4.2 gene eliminates dendritic A-type K+ current and enhances induction of long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.
J Neurosci. 2006 Nov 22;26(47):12143-51.

Frick A, Johnston D.
Plasticity of dendritic excitability.
J Neurobiol. 2005 Jul;64(1):100-15. Review.
Frick A, Magee J, Johnston D.
LTP is accompanied by an enhanced local excitability of pyramidal neuron dendrites.
Nat Neurosci. 2004 Feb;7(2):126-35. Epub 2004 Jan 18.

Olivier Manzoni