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.


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 Computational Neuroethology 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

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
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.
Max Planck Research Group Leader (W2) in Neuroethology
Associated Institute - Research Center caesar (center of advanced european studies and research), Bonn July 13, 2018
2 PhD positions in photonics - microscopy for neuroscience
Associated Institute - Research Center caesar (center of advanced european studies and research), Bonn June 12, 2018

Species-specific wiring of the mammalian retina

2018 Briggman, Kevin
Cell Biology Developmental Biology Genetics Immunobiology Medicine Neurosciences Structural Biology
Amongst mammalian species, the diameter of the eye varies by more than an order of magnitude. Objects in visual space traverse the surface of the retina of a large diameter eye at a higher velocity than that of a small diameter eye, raising the question of how different species encode the velocity of moving objects. Using comparative connectomics and computational modelling, we identified a difference in the placement of synapses among neurons in the mouse versus rabbit retina. Our results suggest an adaptation in neural wiring that compensates for eye diameter differences across species. more

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.


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
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