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Wenzel Workgroup - Network Neurophysiology – Epileptic Micronetworks

Dr. med. Michael Wenzel

Dr. Michael Wenzel

Head of Workgroup


Tel.: +49 228 287-15710


Using cellular resolution recording techniques, we address the fundamental questions concerning the formation, initiation, and progression of epileptic seizures in the intact brain. Epileptic seizures likely arise through the aberrant interaction of local neural populations whose underlying circuitry is not well understood. Despite >100 years of research, even the most basic aspects of epilepsy have escaped our understanding, and up to 30% of patients remain unresponsive to pharmacotherapy. No clear answer exists as to how epileptic networks form over time, how individual seizures start or terminate, and why seizures remain focal in one case but spread in another. One reason for this persistent lack of understanding has been the technical difficulty in studying densely packed epileptic networks at sufficient temporal and spatial resolution. During his post-doc at Columbia University, Dr. Wenzel studied acute focal seizure formation and spread at cellular resolution within and across cortical layers in vivo. His newly formed group at Bonn University combines cutting edge, cellular scale, chronic in-vivo calcium imaging with electrophysiology, optogenetics, and behavioral assessment in various models of chronic epilepsy in mice. Working in close collaboration with other research groups, the core goal of the group is identifying basic local circuit elements of chronically seizure producing networks in mice and humans that, in the best case, are shared across different types of epilepsy. At the therapeutic level, we develop novel light-based, targeted therapeutic interventions in close collaboration with other research groups to contain local epileptic activity in the intact brain.

Staff:

  • Dr. Michael Wenzel, principal investigator, clinician scientist
  • Bence Mitlasoczki, PhD student
  • Mayan Baues, Research Associate
  • Laura Kück, Technician (shared with Ewell lab, IEECR)

Current Publications (selected):

  • Wenzel M, Leunig A, Han S, Peterka DS, Yuste R. Prolonged anesthesia alters brain synaptic architecture. PNAS (2021), in press
  • Wenzel M, Hamm JP, Peterka DS, Yuste R. Acute focal seizures start as local synchronizations of neuronal ensembles. Journal of Neuroscience (2019) 39 (43) 8562-8575
  • Wenzel M*, Han S*, Smith EH*, Hoel E, Greger B, House PA, Yuste R. Reduced repertoire of cortical microstates and neuronal ensembles in medically induced loss of consciousness. Cell Systems (2019) 8, 467–474; *equal contribution
  • Jayant K*, Wenzel M*, Hamm JP, Bando Y, Sahin O, Shepard KL, Yuste R. Flexible nanopipettes for minimally invasive intracellular electrophysiology in vivo. Cell Reports  (2019) 26, 266–278; *equal contribution
  • Wenzel M, Hamm JP, Peterka DS, Yuste R. Reliable and elastic propagation of cortical seizures. Cell Reports (2017) 19:2681–2693; Cover Story

Funding/Grants:

  • Bonfor young investigator group (Bonn University)
  • Hertie Network of Excellence in Clinical Neuroscience (Hertie Foundation)
  • Transdisciplinary Research Area Life and Health (Bonn University)
  • Verein zur Förderung der Epilepsieforschung e.V., Bonn

Collaborative Research Consortia / Scientific Co-operations:

  • Prof. Dr. Heinz Beck, Institut für Experimentelle Epilepsieforschung (IEECR), Universität Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Christa Müller, Pharmazeutisches Institut, Universität Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Krishna Jayant, Purdue University, Indiana, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Rafael Yuste, Columbia University, New York, USA

Website of the Workgroup

Twitter

Researchgate

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