Professor Dr. Gaia Tavosanis

Group Leader, Dynamics of neuronal circuit
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 27
53127 Bonn

Phone office +49  (0) 228 43302-390


Curriculum vitae Prof. Dr. Gaia Tavosanis


Research Interests

Work in our lab addresses:

  1. how functional neuronal circuits assemble during development and
  2. how those circuits can be modified by sensory environment changes during the adult life of the animal?

We use a combination of genetics and in vivo imaging in Drosophila to investigate the molecular regulation underlying neuronal dendrites differentiation and the formation of synaptic contacts within defined circuits. After functional circuits are assembled, we induce controlled changes in the sensory environment of the adult fly or prompt it to form lasting memories. A major focus in the lab is to dissect the structural, synaptic and functional consequences of these manipulations and the molecular cascades that control them.


  • Cell Biological approaches to visualize and manipulate neurons in vivo
  •  Molecular biology (RNA interference, generation of transgenic fly lines)
  • Drosophila genetics
  • Confocal and live cell imaging
  • In vivo imaging
  • Primary neuronal cell cultures
  • Learning and memory behavioural paradigms in Drosophila


5 most important publications

1. Sugie A, Hakeda-Suzuki S, Suzuki E, Silies M, Shimozono M, Mohl C, Suzuki T, Tavosanis G. (2015) Molecular Remodeling of the Presynaptic Active Zone of Drosophila Photoreceptors via Activity-Dependent Feedback. Neuron, 86(3): 711-725.

2. Nagel J, Caroline Delandre C, Zhang Y, Förstner F, Moore AW, Tavosanis G. (2012) Fascin controls neuronal class-specific dendrite arbor morphology. Development, 139(16): 2999-3009.

3. Kremer MC, Christiansen F, Leiss F, Paehler M, Knapek S, Forstner F, Kloppenburg P, Sigrist SJ, Tavosanis G. (2010) Structural long-term changes at Mushroom Body input synapses. Current Biology, 20(21): 1938-1944.

4. Leiss F, Groh C, Butcher NJ, Meinertzhagen IA, Tavosanis G. (2009) Synaptic organization of the adult Drosophila mushroom body calyx. J Comp Neurology, 517(6): 808-824.

5. Dimitrova S, Reissaus A, Tavosanis G. (2008) Slit and Robo regulate dendrite branching and elongation of space-filling neurons in Drosophila. Dev Biol, 324(1): 18-30.