Team BMP: Brain Microcircuits in Psychiatric Diseases

Psychiatric diseases remain one of the most urgent problems of a modern society. The main reason is insufficient understanding of the biological mechanisms of underlying neural circuit dysfunctions. Specifically, most current therapies are designed to act on neuronal compartments, largely ignoring non-neuronal cells involved in the regulation of critical brain functions.

The main aim of the BMP group is to uncover the contribution of glial cells to brain dysfunctions relevant for human psychiatric diseases. Our strategy is to provide systematic insight into the complex neuro-glia interactions and to identify critical molecular components altered in pathological conditions. To this end, we combine state-of-the-art genetic approaches with advanced methods of visualization of biological processes in cell cultures and in model animals.


  • Prof. Dr. Bastian Hengerer
    Director CNS Diseases Research at Boehringer Ingelheim (Industry mentor)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Kuner
    Head of Department Functional Neuroanatomy, Institute for Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Heidelberg (Academic mentor)
The research of this team is kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.
The research of this team is kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Our Team Members

Dr. Michał Ślęzak

Group Leader

Previous work
  • 2012–2016: Postdoc with Prof. Matthew Holt, VIB Center for the Biology of Disease, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 2007–2012: Postdoc with Prof. Ryszard Przewłocki, Institute of Pharmacology PAS, Cracow, Poland
  • 2002–2007: PhD with Prof. Frank Pfrieger, Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neuroscience (INCI), Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France
  • 2013–2015: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Intra-European Fellowship
  • 2012: Young Investigator Award from Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Dr. Dolores Del Prete

Postdoctoral Researcher

Previous work
  • 2013–2016: Postdoc with Prof. Luciano D’Adamio, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA
  • 2009–2012: PhD with Prof. Fabio Benfenati and Dr. Mounia Chami, Italian Institute of Technologies, University of Genoa, Italy
  • 2007: Master of Science in Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Dr. Valentyna Dubovyk

Postdoctoral Researcher

Previous work
  • 2011-2016: PhD with Prof. Denise Manahan-Vaughan, International Graduate School of Neuroscience, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • 2009-2011: Master of Science in Biophysics, Kyiv National University of Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine
  • 2005-2009: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Kyiv National University of Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine

Sedef Dalbeyler

PhD Student

Previous work
  • 2015–2016: Research assistant in Laboratory of Glia Biology, Department of Human Genetics at KU Leuven, VIB, Belgium
  • 2013–2015: Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences at KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 2008–2013: Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Bioengineering at Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey

Carmen Menacho

PhD Student

Previous work
  • 2016-2017: Master of Neuroscience at Autonomous University of Barcelona.
  • 2016: Voluntary Research assistance with Matthew Holt at VIB Center of Biology of Disease, Belgium.
  • 2011-2016: Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Johannes Leyrer


Previous work
  • 2015-present:Master of Science in Molecular Biotechnology at the Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2014: Internship at the Bayer CropScience AG, Department Ecotoxicology, Monheim, Germany
  • 2012-2015: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biotechnology at the Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany

Eliana Franco Taveras


Previous work
  • 2015-present: Master of Sciences in Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2012-2015: Bachelor of Sciences in Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany

Anne Petzold


Previous work
  • 2016-2017: Internship at the Division of Molecular and Translational Vascular Medicine, Laboratory PD Dr. Uwe Raaz, Heart Center at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
  • 2015-2017: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Medicine at Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany