The Department of Molecular Neurosciences was established in 2013, when Tibor Harkany took up his post as chairman. The Department has a rich heritage, and builds on the achievements of its predecessor, the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, first led by Oleh Hornyikiewicz. Our mission is the study of the organizing principles of and disease-induced modifications to neuronal and glial structure and function, thematically encompassing stem cell biology, developmental neurobiology, neurophysiology and molecular pharmacology including molecular modeling.
The department is a conglomerate of research groups successful and sustainable on their own right, led by a healthy blend of junior and long-serving faculty members. A vibrant community of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, technical and administrative support staff of approximately 25 people at present.
More specifically, on-going research projects in the Department of Molecular Neurosciences focus on the developmental biology of endocannabinoid signaling and the impact of drug exposure (particularly cannabis) on the maturation of neuronal circuitries (T. Harkany), functional characterization of Ca2+-binding and Ca2+ sensors proteins (T. Harkany), stem cell differentiation and neural precursor migration in the peripheral nervous system (I. Adameyko), GABAA receptor pharmacology (M. Ernst), tyrosine kinase receptor signaling and trafficking (R. Herbst) and the molecular organization of the dopamine system and its modifications in Parkinson?s disease (C. Pifl). Our department is privileged to welcome Oleh Hornykiewicz as professor emeritus, and Tomas Hökfelt as visiting professor from the Karolinska Institutet. (See drop-down links to the left for detailed information on our research groups, constellations, individuals and funded projects.)
Our work is continuously supported by national and international funding agencies and charities, including the Austrian Science Foundation, the European Commission, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), GW Pharmaceuticals, and a great number of academic collaborators.