Associated Institute - Research Center caesar (center of advanced european studies and research)

Associated Institute - Research Center caesar (center of advanced european studies and research)

The center of advanced european studies and research (caesar) does research in the field of Neurosciences, Cell Biology, and Biophysics. Caesar uses modern photonic, molecular biological, and chemical methods as well as methods of behavioral sciences.

caesar is an independent non-profit foundation under German law that is closely associated with the Max Planck Society. The President of the Max Planck Society chairs the Board of Trustees and caesar’s Directors are Scientific Members of the Max Planck Society. caesar’s scientific research is evaluated and the scientific excellence of its work ensured through the application of the procedures and criteria of the Max Planck Society.

Contact

Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
53175 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 9656-0
Fax: +49 228 9656-111

PhD opportunities

This institute has several International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS):
IMPRS on Ageing
IMPRS for Brain and Behavior

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Department Molecular Sensory Systems more
Department Behavior and Brain Organization more
Cell number determines structure of neural maps
Frankfurt researchers find a simple explanation for the typical patterns of nerve cells inside neural maps more
Sphingosine inhibits the enzyme GBA2, thereby regulating the degradation of lipid-sugar compounds in cells more
Biosensor measures signaling molecules within cilia
Scientists can measure the dynamics of signaling molecules in subcellular compartments more
Rhodopsin on track

Rhodopsin on track

News March 01, 2015
Biological pigment aligns in double rows more
Optogenetics makes sterile mice fertile again
Researchers control swimming behaviour of sperm with light-sensitive enzyme more
Endocrine disruptors impair human sperm function
Ultraviolet filters, preservatives, and plasticizers may be responsible for fertility problems more
Genetic cause of heart valve defects
Researchers at the University of Bonn and the caesar research center identify a new key regulator more

Sperm can do calculus!

News March 07, 2012
The speed at which the calcium concentration in the cell changes controls the swimming behaviour of sperm. They can calculate the calcium dynamics and react accordingly. more
Female sex hormone controls human sperm
Progesterone activates sperm-tail calcium channels to control the sperm’s swimming behaviour more
Sea urchin sperm always follow their “noses” when swimming. Their olfactory organ is located in the tail and actually counts or calculates rather than smelling. The scientists working with Benjamin Kaupp, Scientific Director at the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar), have provided a molecular explanation for this peculiar process.
Administrative assistant
Associated Institute - Research Center caesar (center of advanced european studies and research), Bonn October 26, 2017
PhD position
Associated Institute - Research Center caesar (center of advanced european studies and research), Bonn October 19, 2017

Tactile perception in the computer brain

2017 Oberlaender, Marcel
Cell Biology Neurosciences Structural Biology

How are decisions formed in the brain? Investigations on the rat nervous system show that the basic principles of such complex processes can be studied on detailed models of neuronal networks. Novel techniques allow reconstructing the structure of neurons after having studied their function in living animals. By means of these data, models of entire brain areas can be created. By simulating neuronal activity patterns in these anatomically detailed network models, scientists hope to gain insight into how sensory information and behaviors that arise from it are encoded in the brain.

more

Networks underlying the sense of direction

2016 Seelig, Johannes
Cell Biology Developmental Biology Genetics Immunobiology Medicine Neurosciences Structural Biology
How do the networks in the brain enable navigation and how do they control movements? Addressing these questions in the simple nervous system of the fruit fly indicates that basic network structures that are relevant for the mammalian brain contribute to navigation behavior in the fly. Thanks to the small size of the fly brain and the available genetic tools these networks can be analyzed in detail. Such experiments are expected to contribute to our understanding of how abstract computations are encoded in biological networks. more

Shedding light on male infertility

2015 Wachten, Dagmar
Cell Biology Developmental Biology Genetics Medicine Neurosciences
The underlying causes of male infertility are diverse; however, in almost 50% of the cases, there is no apparent reason for the infertility – it is idiopathic. Recently, one of the key players for sperm development, a new protein called CRIS, has been identified. CRIS knock-out males did not produce any sperm – they were infertile. However, some of the males had sperm, but their swimming behavior was completely different from normal sperm, resulting in a severely reduced fertility. more

The supra-molecular structure of rhodopsin in retinal rods

2014 Gunkel, Monika
Cell Biology Structural Biology
The sense of vision is the most important sense for many animals and humans. The visual pigment rhodopsin is a key protein, it absorbs light which falls onto the visual cells in the retina. There has been a controversial discussion on the supra-molecular organisation of rhodopsin for many years. We have been able to clarify this controversy with the aid of electron tomography. Many illnesses which cause blindness can be traced back to mutations in the  rhodopsin gene and the resulting degeneration of the retina. Our findings can maybe contribute to explaining some causes of blindness. more

Sperm cannot smell - the end of the “Lily of the Valley phenomenon” in sperm research?

2013 Brenker, Christoph; Müller, Astrid; Hartmann, Stefan; Strünker, Timo
Cell Biology Chemistry Neurosciences Physiology
Almost 10 years ago, the “Lily of the Valley phenomenon” was born: in the oviduct, sperm navigate ‒ like swimming olfactory neurons ‒ along an “odorant trail” laid by the egg. Scientists from the caesar research center in Bonn now discovered that sperm do not function like olfactory neurons. This finding casts doubts on the hypothesis that odorants orchestrate fertilization. more

Sperm cannot smell - the end of the "Lily of the Valley phenomenon" in sperm research?

2013 Brenker, Christoph; Müller, Astrid; Hartmann, Stefan; Strünker, Timo
Cell Biology Chemistry Neurosciences Physiology

Almost 10 years ago, the "Lily of the Valley phenomenon" was born: in the oviduct, sperm navigate - like swimming olfactory neurons - along an “odorant trail” laid by the egg. Scientists from the caesar research center in Bonn now discovered that sperm do not function like olfactory neurons. This finding casts doubts on the hypothesis that odorants orchestrate fertilization.

more

The mechanism by which progesterone controls human sperm - the mystery is solved

2012 Strünker, Timo; Goodwin, Normann; Brenker, Christoph
Cell Biology Medicine Neurosciences Physiology
Progesterone controls the intracellular Ca2+ concentration and, thereby, the swimming behaviour of human sperm - this has been known for 25 years. However, the mechanism of action of the female sex hormone in sperm has remained mysterious and highly controversial. Researchers from the research center caesar in Bonn have now solved this long standing mystery: Progesterone directly opens sperm-specific CatSper (cation channel of sperm) Ca2+ channels located in the membrane of the sperm´s tail. more
Receptors provide cells with all relevant information by perceiving cues of the environment. Inside a cell, the information is often transmitted by secondary messengers. Among the plethora of second messengers 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is the most important one. cAMP binds to specific target proteins thereby changing the protein's three-dimensional structure; the protein gets activated. We will study this structural change with high spatiotemporal resolution to learn more about the exact activation mechanism of this class of proteins. more

Lonely hearts ad of a sperm cell: Extremely sensible character seeks for an egg to fuse.

2010 Timo Strünker, U. Benjamin Kaupp
Cell Biology Genetics
Eggs attract sperm by the release of chemical factors (chemoattractants). Sperm navigate in the chemoattractant gradient surrounding the egg, a process called chemotaxis. Sperm of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata display an extreme sensitivity for their chemoattractant. The sperm can respond to stimulation by a single attractant molecule. An atypical cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel (CNGK) in the sperm flagellum is key for the single-molecule sensitivity. The chemoattractant triggers the synthesis of the intracellular messenger cGMP. The structurally unique CNGK-channel is activated by small changes in intracellular cGMP concentration and initiates the chemotactic signaling cascade. more
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