Zentrale Abteilung für Mikroskopie - Imaging Core Facility

Sebastian Markert

PhD Student
Zentrale Abteilung für Mikroskopie
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg

Sebastian Markert is a neurobiologist interested in presynaptic ultrastructures, the function of their proteins, and the correlation between synaptic architecture and activity. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree at the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg in the department of bioinformatics and then moved on to cell and developmental biology, where he did his Master thesis on trypanosome genetics and development. Since 2013 he is working as PhD-student in the group of Christian Stigloher.

Research synopsis. Sebastian Markert is mainly using the motor neurons of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for presynaptic architecture. He focuses in particular on the more subtle aspects of the synaptic build-up, the research of which requires excellent tissue preservation and imaging resolution. With channelrhodopsins, light-activatable ion-channels, it is possible to selectively activate neurons in a tightly controlled manner. By combining such optogenetic approaches with high pressure freezing for close-to-native preservation of ultrastructures and EM tomography for nanoscale resolution imaging, deeper insights into synaptic architecture are finally feasible.
In his PhD thesis Sebastian Markert is correlating synaptic activity states (manipulated via optogenetics) with presynaptic ultrastructure. By looking at several select neurological mutants he also tries to identify the proteins involved in the build-up of certain structural features in the presynapse and thus aims for the deduction of their functions.


Imaging Core Facility at the Theodor-Boveri-Institute of Bioscience
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg


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