Professor for Molecular Neuropathology
Department of Neuropathology
University of Bonn, Medical School
D- 53105 Bonn
Phone +49 (0) 228 287-11352
Curriculum vitae Professor Dr. Albert Becker
The major scientific interests ofour group focus on the neuropathological basis of epilepsies. Seizures frequently initiate in circumscribed areas of the brain. Many respectives patients are pharmacoresistant. By neurosurgical removal of the epileptogenic focus, seizures can often be controlled. Respective neurosurgical biopsies represent a unique prerequisite for molecular pathological approaches in order to provide an improved understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis to develop novel treatment strategies. Complementarily, we are using model systems of different complexity to gain insights in epileptogenesis, i.e. brain tissue reorganization after a transient insult that finally leads to a spontaneously epileptic focus. We have major research foci on acquired ion channelopathies in epileptogenesis, their underlying transcriptional control mechanisms and the role of ‘epileptic neurons’ as pacemakers of aberrant network synchronization. We further concentrate on the impact of aberrant microglia to neuron signalling in converting neuronal cells epileptic.
We are using neuropathological, biochemical and molecular biological analyses in human brain biopsy tissue removed from focally epileptic patients undergoing neurosurgery for seizure control. Complementarily, we are characterizing transgenic mice in an epileptogenesis paradigm. Major relevant platform technologies are a rodent video-/EEG-monitoring unit, a viral transgenics unit run together with Prof. Schoch and an epilepsy neuropathology platform.
5 most important publications
1. Becker A, Pitsch J, Sochivko D, Staniek M, Campbell KP, Schoch S, Yaari Y, Beck H. (2008) Transcriptional upregulation of Cav3.2 mediates epileptogenesis in the pilocarpine model of epilepsy. J
Neurosci, 28: 13341-13353.
2. Bernard C, Anderson A, Becker A, Poolos N, Beck H, Johnston D. (2004) Acquired dendritic channelopathy in temporal lobe epilepsy. Science, 305: 532-535.
3. Fassunke J, Majores M, Tresch A, Niehusmann P, Grote A, Schoch S, Becker AJ. (2008) Array analysis of epilepsy-associated gangliogliomas reveals expression patterns related to aberrant development of neuronal precursors. Brain, 131: 3034-3050.
4. Ernhorst K, Raabe A, Niehusmann P, van Loo KMJ, Grote A, Hoffmann P, Cichon S, Sander T, Schoch S, Becker AJ. (2011) Promoter variants determine GABA-homeostasis related gene transcription in human epileptic hippocampi. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol, 70(12): 1080-1088.
5. Van Loo KM, Schaub C, Pernhorst K, Yaari Y, Beck H, Schoch S, Becker AJ. (2012) Transcriptional regulation of Ttype calcium channel CaV3.2: bi-directionality by early growth response 1 (Egr1) and repressor element 1 (RE-1) protein-silencing transcription factor (REST). J Biol Chem, 287(19): 5489-501.