Among the major challenges in the life sciences is understanding the molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms underlying diseases of the nervous system. This knowledge is central to developing new therapies and improving existing treatments. In view of the increasing social and financial burden generated by these diseases, the Department of Biomedicine (DBM) has defined Neuroscience as one of its four research areas.

The Neuroscience research area is currently comprised of 19 research groups with a total of around 190 members and is chaired by Prof. Dr. Tania Rinaldi Barkat (head of the Brain and Sound lab) and Prof. Dr. Gregor Hutter (head of the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy and Biology lab).

Neuroscience research at the DBM encompasses a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from learning and memory, brain plasticity, and sensation to brain development, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, cancer neuroscience, and psychiatric or neuromuscular diseases. Despite this diverse array, the common aim is to advance our understanding of the brain in health and disease. The DBM neuroscience research groups take advantage of the unique expertise in this field present in the Basel area to envision, encourage, and pursue translational research projects. As a consequence of these efforts, basic and clinical neuroscientists have contributed to new understanding of the brain. Examples include unravelling  the molecular mechanisms of long-term memory [link], investigating the causes of neurological damages in COVID-19 [link], and uncovering neuronal alterations during attentive listening [link]. They have also contributed to the development of innovative therapies for the treatment of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, retinitis pigmentosa [link] or autism spectrum disorder [link].

The research area Neuroscience of the DBM complements parallel efforts at the Biozentrum, the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI), the Institute of molecular and clinical ophthalmology (IOB) and industrial research in Basel. It is part of the Neuroscience Network Basel (NNB), a center of competence of the University of Basel created in 2008. The NNB follows a translational strategy and comprises more than 500 neuroscientists from over 50 different laboratories associated with the University, the University Hospitals, the FMI and the Basel Life Science Industry. It is also part of the trinational educational and collaborative NEUREX network along with the neuroscience programs at the Universities of Freiburg (Germany) and Strasbourg (France).

Together with its partners, neuroscience researchers at the DBM offer weekly research seminars such as the Basel Neuroscience Workshops, along with the neuroscience Symposium “From Bench-to-Bedside”, lecture series at both graduate and postgraduate levels, and public events like the Brain Awareness Week. Together, these events cover all aspects of basic and clinical neuroscience and provide a platform for learning, for exchange of ideas and collaborations.


Prof. Dr. Tania Rinaldi Barkart about Basel as an important place for her research

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Research Groups Neurosciences

Bettler Bernhard, Prof. Dr.Molecular Neurobiology Synaptic Plasticity
Bischofberger Josef, Prof. Dr.Cellular Neurophysiology
De Quervain Dominique, Prof. Dr. Cognitive Neuroscience
Derfuss Tobias, Prof. Dr. med.Clinical Neuroimmunology
Guzman Raphael, Prof. Dr. med.Brain Ischemia and Regeneration
Hutter Gregor, Prof. Dr. medBrain Tumor Immunotherapy and Biology
Kapfhammer Josef, Prof. Dr.Developmental Neurobiology and Regeneration
Kuhle Jens, Prof. Dr. med.Clinical Neuroimmunology
Liechti Matthias, Prof. Dr.Psychopharmacology Research
Mariani Luigi, Prof. Dr. med.Brain Tumor Immunotherapy and Biology
Mehling Matthias, PD Dr. med.Translational Neuroimmunology
Neutzner Albert, PD Dr.Ocular Pharmacology and Physiology
Papassotiropoulos Andreas, Prof. Dr.Molecular Neuroscience 
Pröbstel Anne-Katrin, Prof. Dr. med.Experimental Neuroimmunology
Rinaldi Barkat Tania, Prof. Dr.Brain and Sound
Schaeren-Wiemers Nicole, Prof. Dr.Neurobiology
Sinnreich Michael, Prof. Dr. med.Neuromuscular Research
Taylor Verdon, Prof. Dr.Embryology and Stem Cell Biology
Treves Susan, Prof. Dr.Neuromuscular Research