HIH News

New HIH research group

Since September, Professor Dr. Esther Kühn has started her research group “Translational Imaging of Cortical Microstructure” at the HIH. The neurobiologist investigates the neuronal mechanisms underlying healthy and pathological brain states.

Kühn uses specially developed methods that allow her to zoom in on neuronal networks and brain structures in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) more closely than before. In this way, she succeeds to visualize structures and their changes that are in between 0.1 and 1 mm in size. The neuroscientist thus builds an exciting bridge between brain research at a macro level – where the brain is studied using conventional MRI methods – and the micro level, where individual brain cells are examined using electrophysiology.

One focus of her work is the description of age-related and pathological changes in the brain, such as those that occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Another area of focus for Kühn will be mental health. This research project forms part of the ERC grant “Body Memory” she received from the European Research Council and which is endowed with 1.5 million euros over a period of five years.  One question that concerns her is how traumata are stored in the brain. In this field, virtual reality will complement her research methods.

“I am very excited to be working with my research group at the HIH in the future. Here in Tübingen, I find the perfect research environment with a wide range of collaboration opportunities,” says Kühn. In addition to the HIH Department of Neurodegeneration, Kühn will collarborate with the Tübingen site of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Center for Mental Health.

Link to Kühn's homepage

Professor Dr. Esther Kühn
Copyright: Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg/Fotografin Jana Dünnhaupt