You are here: Home Our Members Principal Investigators
Marlene Bartos Profile Page
Marlene Bartos


Lab: Prof. Dr. Marlene Bartos
Department: Lichtenbergprofessor for cellular and systemic Neurophysiology
Institute for Physiology I
Address: University Freiburg Hermann-Herder-Str. 7
D-79104 Freiburg
Phone: 0049 (0)761 203 5150
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lab homepage:
PhD positions available: YES
Research Area: Neurosciences
Research Interests: Our group is interested in the cellular basis of information processing in the brain. The goal is to understand how information is encoded, stored and retrieved from neuronal networks.
Our objectives are:
1. To determine cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic communication among cortical neurons.
2. To examine the cellular basis of network synchronization in the healthy and diseased brain.
3. To identify the rules for induction of synaptic plasticity.
4. To elucidate the role of neuron types in cognition and behaviour.


Education & Training: 1984-1990 Undergraduate and graduate studies in Biology, Technical University of Braunschweig
1991 Diploma thesis at the Technical University Munich, Institute for Zoology (Prof. H-W Honegger)
1991-1994 PhD at the Technical University Munich, Institute for Zoology
Employment & Experience: 1995-1998 Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania (USA), School of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, (Prof. MP Nusbaum)
1998-2007 Senior Scientist (C1) University Freiburg, Institute of Physiology I (Prof. P Jonas)
2002-2003 Maternity leave
2006-2007 ‘Habilitation’ in Physiology with the topic: Functional role of inhibitory synapses for the generation and coordination of oscillatory network activity
2007-2009 Reader (Associate Professor) at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK), Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS)
2009-2010 Professor (Personal Chair) at the University of Aberdeen (IMS)
Since 2010 Lichtenberg Professor (W3) at the University of Freiburg
Scientific Activities: April 2004 Member of the organizing board for the ‘Annual Neurex Meeting 2004’ with the topic ‘Neuronal connectivity: development and function’ (Freiburg).
July 2004 Course Director of the ‘International ELTEM Workshop 2004’ with the topic ‘Interneurons, GABAergic transmission and network dynamics’ (Freiburg).
March 2005 Principal organizer of the symposium: ‘Network oscillations and their underlying mechanisms’ at the ‘German Physiology Meeting’ (Göttingen).
October 2005 Member of the organizing board for the ‘First national meeting of the Bernstein Centers for Computational Neuroscience’ (BCCNs) (Freiburg).
February 2008 Chair of the 4th International Conference of the ‘Volkswagenstiftung’ ‚Dynamics and adaptivity of neuronal systems: integrative approaches to analyse cognitive functions’. University Tübingen.
June 2009 Lecturer at the Okinawa ‘Computational Neuroscience course 2009’ in Okinawa (Japan) (Organizer: Prof. E. De Shutter).
October 2010 Invited speaker at the Gordon conference
Since 2000 Reviewer for international journals: Science, Journal of Neuroscience, Brain Research, Journal of Computational Neuroscience, European Journal of Neuroscience and Journal of Physiology.
Reviewer for the ‘Wellcome Trust’, the ‘Leverhulme Trust’, the ‘Royal Society’, the ‘BBSRC’ and the ‘Human Frontier Science Program’ (HFSP), the Canadian NIH

Executive Board Member of the Excellence Initiative "Brain Links - Brain Tools (BL-BT)"

Non-scientific activities
1992-1994 Women’s representative in the Faculty of Biology, Geography and Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich.
Since 2004 Member of the ‘Mentoring Program’ at the University Freiburg.
Since 2010 ‘Stellvertretende Gleichstellungsbauftragte’ of the University of Freiburg, Medical Faculty
October 2011 Symposium ‘Hat Wissenschaft ein Geschlecht’ Beitrag zur Exzellenzinitiative 2011, Medical University Vienna, Austria


Honors and Awards:

1992-1994    Fellowship of the ‘Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung’
1995            Price for ‘Young Investigators’ of the ‘International Society for Neuroethology’
1995-1997    Postdoctoral Fellowship of the ‘Deutsche Forschungs- gemeinschaft’ (DFG).
Since 2005    Member of the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience (BCCN) Freiburg
Since June 2010   Member of the scientific board of Neurex (European Network in Neuroscience)
Since January 2011 Internal senior member of FRIAS (Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies)
July 2011       Member of the EU-funded ‘Erasmus- Mundus’ as Principal Investigator
August 2011  Associated Member of the Excellence Cluster ‘bioss’ (Centre for biological signalling studies)
August 2011  Associated Member of the Excellence Cluster ‘Brain Links Brain Tools’
2009             Lichtenberg VW Award
2011             Schram Award
Since 2011    Member of the Executive Board of the ‘Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine’ (SGBM)


Selected Publications:

Strüber M, Jonas P, Bartos M (2015) Strength and duration of perisomatic GABAergic inhibition depend on distance between synaptically connected cells. PNAS USA 112:1220-1225. Abstract

Sauer JF, Strüber M, Bartos M (2015) Impaired fast-spiking interneuron function in a genetic mouse model of depression. Elife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.04979. Abstract

Elgueta C, Köhler J, Bartos M (2015) Persistent discharges in dentate gyrus perisoma-inhibiting interneurons require hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel activation. J Neurosci 35:4131-4139. Abstract

Hainmüller T, Krieglstein K, Kulik A, Bartos M (2014) Joint CP-AMPA and group I mGlu receptor activation is required for synaptic plasticity in dentate gyrus fast-spiking interneurons. PNAS USA 111:13211-13216. Abstract

Hosp JA, Strüber M, Yanagawa Y, Obata K, Vida I, Jonas P, Bartos M. (2014) Morpho-physiological criteria divide dentate gyrus interneurons into classes. Hippocampus 24: 189-203. Abstract

Savanthrapadian S, Meyer T, Elgueta C, Booker SA, Vida I, Bartos M. (2014) Synaptic properties of SOM- and CCK-expressing cells in dentate gyrus interneuron networks. J Neurosci 24:8197-8209. Abstract

Sauer J-F, Strüber M, Bartos M (2012) Interneurons provide circuit-specific depolarization and hyperpolarization. J Neurosci 32:4224-4229. Abstract

Murray AJ, Sauer JF, Riedel G, McClure C, Ansel L, Cheyne L, Bartos M, Wisden W, Wulff P. (2011) Parvalbumin-positive hippocampal interneurons are required for spatial working but not reference memory. Nat Neurosci 14: 297-299. Abstract

Bartos M, Vida I, Jonas P (2007) Synaptic mechanisms of synchronized gamma oscillations in inhibitory interneuron networks. Nat Rev Neurosci 8:45-56. Abstract

Vida I, Bartos M, Jonas P (2006) Shunting inhibition improves robustness of gamma oscillations in hippocampal interneuron networks by homogenizing firing rates. Neuron 49:107-117 (equal contribution of the authors). Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:



Michael Strüber (07/2010 - 07/2014)

Thomas Hainmüller (01/2018 - 07/2019)

Copyright © 2009-2023 University of Freiburg