Christian Stigloher is a molecular cell biologist and electron microscopist. The main focus of his research have been neurons, from early development as progenitor cells to the final differentiated state with functional synapses. He studied biology at the University of Würzburg and Duke University, North Carolina, USA. Christian’s doctoral thesis project in the laboratory of Laure Bally-Cuif at the Helmholtz Center Munich and the Technical University Munich was focused on the molecular biology and cellular behavior of neural progenitor cells using zebrafish as model organism. He then went as postdoctoral fellow to Jean-Louis Bessereau’s laboratory at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France, where he changed topic and focused on to the nervous system of the nematode C. elegans as model for molecular and ultrastructural analysis of synaptic architecture and function. Since 2012 Christian Stigloher is Juniorprofessor for Microscopy at the Biocenter of the Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg.
Christian is particularly interested in understanding the dynamic behavior and architecture of cells and to combine this information with the molecular factors at play. He used zebrafish as model to unravel molecular components of an early patterning process in the nervous system that separates the eye field from the telencephalic progenitor pool. Vertebrate brains crucially rely on neural progenitor pools as source of undifferentiated and proliferating cells during development and partly also throughout life-time. He then focused on the molecular processes regulating the neural progenitor pool at the midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB) where he participated in a project that discovered a novel microRNA mediated process that regulates the MHB progenitor pool. As postdoc he then went on to use the small nematode C. elegans as model organism to study structure and function of chemical synapses, fine structured cellular junctions that allow communication between neurons themselves and neurons and muscle cells. As postdoctoral-fellow he learned to apply advanced electron microscopy techniques such as high pressure freezing and established electron tomography as tool to study synaptic architecture at the nanoscale in 3D. A special interest of his research is to combine microscopy techniques in a so called correlated light and electron microscopy (CLEM) approach. Thereby one can profit from the advantages of both techniques, allowing access to ultrastructural information with the knowledge of the localization of molecular factors.
Five important publications:
1) Stigloher C, Ninkovic J, Laplante M, Geling A, Tannhäuser B, Topp S, Kikuta H, Becker TS, Houart C, Bally-Cuif L. (2006) Segregation of telencephalic and eye-field identities inside the zebrafish forebrain territory is controlled by Rx3. Development, 133(15):2925-35.
2) Leucht C*, Stigloher C*, Wizenmann A, Klafke R, Folchert A, Bally-Cuif L. (2008) (* joint first authorship) MicroRNA-9 directs late organizer activity of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary. Nature Neuroscience, 11(6):641-8.
3) Stigloher C, Zhan H, Zhen M, Richmond JE and Bessereau JL. (2011) The Presynaptic Dense Projection of the Caenorhabiditis elegans Cholinergic Neuromuscular Junction Localizes Synaptic Vesicles at the Active Zone through SYD-2/Liprin and UNC-10/RIM-Dependent Interactions. The Journal of Neuroscience, 23;31(12):4388-96.
4) Markert SM, Britz S, Proppert S, Lang M, Witvliet D, Mulcahy B, Sauer M, Zhen M, Bessereau JL, Stigloher C. (2016) Filling the gap: adding super-resolution to array tomography for correlated ultrastructural and molecular identification of electrical synapses at the C. elegans connectome. Neurophotonics, 3(4):041802.
5) Kaltdorf KV, Schulze K, Helmprobst F, Kollmannsberger P, Dandekar T, Stigloher C. (2017) FIJI Macro 3D ART VeSElecT: 3D Automated Reconstruction Tool for Vesicle Structures of Electron Tomograms. PLoS Computational Biology, 13(1):e1005317.