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Josef Bischofberger is an expert in Brain plasticity and Learning and Memory.

In July 2009, Josef Bischofberger was appointed Professor of Neurophysiology at the Department of Biomedicine at University of Basel. His research group “Cellular Neurophysiology” focuses on adult neurogenesis, the generation of new neurons in the adult brain. This special process occurs only in a few brain regions, including the hippocampus, a central hub region for learning of our conscious memories of facts and events. As one of his key discoveries, he showed that the newly generated young neurons are more flexible and more excitable than old nerve cells, and thereby promote learning and plasticity in the adult brain.  

Adult neurogenesis is disturbed in many diseases, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, dementia or in different forms of mental retardation like Down Syndrome. On the other hand, adult neurogenesis, learning and memory can be facilitated by different factors including environmental enrichment and physical exercise. The group of Josef Bischofberger is investigating these phenomena in different mouse models to generate solid understanding of this basic neurophysiological process.

He is head of the Neuroscience Network Basel, which includes about 60 Neuroscience Research Groups at the University of Basel and other research institutes, including the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel. This consortium not only promotes collaborations between scientists, but is also heavily involved in outreach efforts for Brain Awareness Week. He is also a member of the scientific board of NEUREX, an international consortium for neuroscience research in Switzerland, France and Germany.  

Read more about his research