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  • 13 Mar 2022 3:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We all have to watch what happens in the Ukraine. Please note what FENS has posted on its Website. As scientists we may be "apolitical", but we are not blind or deaf. So let us stand together with our colleagues and see how we can help.

  • 16 Feb 2022 4:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ANA member Cornelia Ablinger (Karl Landsteiner University Krems) was selected to participate in the Cajal Training Course “Optogenetics chemogenetics and biosensors for cellular and ciurcuit neuroscience.” Congratulations! ANA provides grants to support participation in Cajal Training Courses. Cornelia was one of the grant awardees. Read Cornelia´s report about her experiences at the course in Bordeaux.

    Personal motivation and background

    A Year ago I was very excited to be in the position for applying for a Cajal neuroscience training programme. Epecially during the pandemic it seemed almost too good to be true, that I may get the chance to travel abroad to attend an international training experience. One year after I sent the application and very patiently waited for my acceptance I am still excited and grateful that I not only was entitled to participate in the course consisting of only 20 students, but also that the course finally could take place in person in Bordeaux! Especially as Austria went into lockdown the day after my flight to Bordeaux, I appreciated it even more that the organisers and instructors of the course, despite the uncertainties of the pandemic, put so much effort into making this course possible. The “Optogenetics chemogenetics and biosensors for cellular and ciurcuit neuroscience” course immediately caught my attention on the Cajal training website as it was matching closely what I was currently working on and planning to work on in the future. The projects sounded amazing with all the fancy tools and methods and indeed the course directors did not promise too much - we really had an incredibly informative course with state of the art tools and devices for hands on training and very rewarding scientific discussions. It was a pure pleasure to be part of this great experience and meet amazing people from whom I could not only learn a lot but also share my joy of doing and discussing science and new ideas.

    Excellent course infrastructure in Bordeaux

    The course directors Ofer Yizahr, Michael Lin, Simon Wiegert and Anna Beyler are not only very nice, friendly people, but also true experts in their fields! They employ precise manipulation and read-out of brain circuit functions using genetically encoded tools to measure and control neuronal activity in not only single synapses but also large scale circuits to investigate brain function. As the field of genetically encoded sensors has exploded in the recent years, the speakers in the course had a challenging task to cover all the aspects and they did an incredible job in teaching us about which tools are available and what are the advantages and disadvantages of using them. They also explained what technical challenges have to be considered and were happy to discuss these topics with us in depth, to help us with our struggles and particularly to overcome these in our own research. In the 3 weeks of the course, we indeed learned a lot about optogenetics, voltage and calcium indicators, enzymes and neurotransmitter indicators, and G-protein coupled receptors. Most importantly, w had the chance to acquire hands on training and experience in  these techniques in small groups (2-3 students) in two projects.  Moreover, we had workshops to introduce and help us with deep lab cut, matlab and python- for me personally this was the most challenging part, as I had zero coding experience.

    I also would like to mention that without the guidance of our excellent instructors, none of the projects would have been possible and I am very grateful for their help and advice throughout the course. Of course, also the facility of the Bordeaux school of neuroscience and the Bordeaux imaging centre contributed enormously to the success of the projects as they provided us with the facility and the newest equipment and microscopes.

    Scientific projects

    During my first project, I was able to perform stereotaxic surgeries with fiber implantation, perfuse the animal and validate the surgery injection, set up and perform dual fiber photometry recordings using GCaMP6s and jRGECO1a as calcium sensors and monitor the transients in behavioural test such as elevated plus maze and open field test. Moreover, we were introduced to specific data analysis tools and benefited from the amazing programming skills of our instructor Praneeth Namburi.

    Within the second project, I could learn how to implant a cranial window with a head bar, learn to train and head fix a mouse, set up and program a whisker stimulation together with optogenetic stimulation for head fixed mice. I was also able to perform in vivo calcium imaging using a 2-photon microscope with an axonal GCaMP7b and perform optogenetic inhibition of thalamocortical projections using eOPN3. Our instructor Mathias Mahn was very patient and helped us to troubleshoot a lot, not only during programming and setting up the system, but he also raised good points of discussion during the analysis.

    Summary and outlook

    Overall the Cajal course offered me a huge opportunity to not only learn new techniques, but also to get to know new people, to discuss with instructors, speakers and organizers in a more familial manner than at international conferences. The main reason for the many extensive discussions was the outstanding motivation of all students, speakers, instructors and course directors. All instructors and speakers were super friendly and nice people, which made it instantly easy to get into a conversation and to get along and collaborate very well. For me the course was a unique chance to broaden my educational background and get international feedback on my current and future projects, which was very rewarding and a highlight in my scientific career so far.

    Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support at home that helped me to attend this course. I especially thank my supervisor Gerald Obermair, who very much encouraged me to apply for the course – he always rated my chances of being accepted for the course higher than I did and in the end, he was totally right! I am also very grateful for the generous support from the Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA), which made it possible for me to attend the course. You can find the list of upcoming Cajal courses here:

    For more details to the course or detailed information on the instructors and speakers of the course please visit:

    The best advice I got was to apply for the course so I can only advice any student or post-doc to do the same!

  • 13 Sep 2021 12:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • 12 Sep 2021 12:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • 10 Sep 2021 8:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • 12 Jul 2021 3:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Stay updated about the program of the ANA Meeting 2021!
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  • 26 Apr 2021 10:02 AM | Marco Treven (Administrator)

    Sandra Apler is mother of a small boy who suffers from a mutation of the Syngap 1 gene. She has set up the non-profit organization Leon & Friends which aims at supporting Syngap1 children and at driving research for treatment.

    Leon and Friends were the main organizer of the first (virtual) European Syngap1 Symposium (March 15-16, 2021). As ANA we are happy that we could assist in setting this up.

    On March 15 2021, Austrian radio Ö1 aired an interview of Sandra Apler and Simon Hippenmeyer (Dimensionen, die Welt der Wissenschaft) by the Ö1 science journalist Marlene Nowotny. ANA received permission to stream this interview.

  • 13 Apr 2021 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Investigating the neuronal basis of magnetoreception in the pigeon
    Simon Nimpf (IMP Vienna)

    The remarkable ability of animals to navigate over long distances is mediated by the sensory perception of the Earth’s magnetic field. Behavioral experiments on a large number of taxonomically diverse species support the existence and utilization of magnetoreceptive systems, however the underlying sensorineural structure mediating this unusual sense remains elusive. In this thesis I set out to investigate where and how a magnetic stimulus might be transduced into a neuronal impulse and how this information is integrated in the central nervous system of pigeons.

    Employing neuronal activity mapping I report that exposing pigeons to rotating magnetic fields leads to increased activity in the brainstem vestibular nuclei and the hippocampus of pigeons. Physical calculations and modeling further support the hypothesis that magnetic fields might be detected by voltage sensitive ion channels in the semicircular canals of the vestibular system through a process called electromagnetic induction (Nimpf, Nordmann et al., Current Biology, 2019). Using a newly established in vivo 2-photon calcium-imaging set-up, I provide additional preliminary evidence for magnetosensitive neuronal populations in the pigeon hippocampus. Finally, I investigated the molecular machinery associated with the formation, development and function of an iron-rich organelle in pigeon sensory hair cells and its potential involvement in magnetoreception (Nimpf et al., eLife, 2017). Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that magnetic field information might be detected in the pigeon inner ear and relayed to higher order brain structures for central integration.

    Jury for the 2020 Best Thesis Award: Thomas Klausberger (Loewi Award 2005); Alex Koschak (Loewi Award 2011); Daniela Pollak (Loewi Award 2009).

  • 9 Apr 2021 2:13 PM | Anonymous member

    Recent developments in neuroscience bring scientists closer to fundamental human questions and thus into shared research fields with social sciences and the humanities. Thus, acquiring the necessary skills for interdisciplinary discussions becomes increasingly important to realize collaborative projects, but also for debates at the university or in the public sphere. For this purpose, the exchange with philosophers appears very promising, because of shared interests but complementary expertise.  

    Read full text at:

  • 11 Mar 2021 3:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On his one-day trip to Israel, BK Sebastian Kurz recently proposed a 50 Mio € foundation (with Denmark and Israel) to foster research and production of Sars-CoV-2 vaccines.  Read how Sigismund Huck comments the ideas in a "Presse" commentary on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

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