Professor Dr. Sandra Blaess

Neurodevelopmental Genetics Group
Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, Life & Brain Center
University of Bonn
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
D- 53127 Bonn

Phone +49 (0) 228 6885-540
Fax +49 (0) 228 6885-501


Curriculum vitae Prof. Dr. Sandra Blaess

Research Interests

The coordinated generation of a vast number of diverse neuronal cell types and their subsequent organization into neuronal networks during development is critical for the proper functioning of the adult brain. We are particularly interested in understanding the development and function of the dopaminergic system. Dopaminergic neurons modulate movement, reward behavior and cognition. Degeneration or dysfunction of dopaminergic neurons is implicated in several common human disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. There is increasing evidence that some of these disorders are linked to aberrant development of the underlying circuits. However, only little is known about the mechanisms that control the formation of the dopaminergic circuits in the healthy brain. We investigate how the identity of dopaminergic subpopulations is established during development and how this identity determines the final location and function of these same neuronal subsets in the adult brain.


Mouse models (conditional knock-outs, genetic fate mapping), organotypic slice cultures, time-lapse iamging, immunohistochemistry, microscopy.

5 most important publications

1. Kabanova A, Pabst M, Lorkowski M, Braganza O, Boehlen A, Nikbakht N, Pothmann L, Vaswani AR, Musgrove R, Di Monte DA, Sauvage M, Beck H, Blaess S. (2015) . Function and developmental origin of a mesocortical inhibitory circuit. Nat Neurosci, 18: 872-882.

2. Bodea GO, Spille JH, Abe P, Senturk Andersson A, Acker-Palmer A, Stumm R, Kubitscheck U, Blaess S. (2014) Reelin and CXCL12 regulate distinct migratory behaviors during the development of the dopaminergic system. Development, 141: 661-673.

3. Blaess S, Bodea GO, Kabanova A, Chanet S, Mugniery E, Derouiche A, Stephen D, Joyner AL. (2011) Temporal-spatial changes in Sonic Hedgehog expression and signaling reveal different potentials of ventral mesencephalic progenitors to populate distinct ventral midbrain nuclei. Neural Dev, 6:29.

4. Blaess S, Stephen D, Joyner AL. (2008) Gli3 coordinates three-dimensional patterning and growth of the tectum and cerebellum by integrating Shh and Fgf8 signaling. Development, 135: 2093-2103.

5. Blaess S, Corrales JD, Joyner AL. (2006) Sonic hedgehog regulates Gli activator and repressor functions with spatial and temporal precision in the mid/hindbrain region. Development, 133: 1799-1809.