Molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission of the sensory motor-circuit in spinal muscular atrophy
Principal investigator(s) :Dr. Christian Simon
Institution :University of Leipzig, Germany
Grant Type:Operating Grant
Call number :10
Start year :2020
Duration :2 years
Dr. Christian Simon from Leipzig University is currently a group leader at the Carl-Ludwig-Institute for Physiology as a part of Professor Stefan Hallermann’s laboratory. Dr. Simon’s group studies the mechanisms of neuronal death and dysfunction in motor neuron diseases. During his Masters and PhD, under the supervision of Professor Michael Sendtner at the University of Würzburg, Dr. Simon studied the beneficial effects of neurotrophic factors in SMA mouse models by applying molecular and imaging techniques. In 2012, he joined Prof. George Mentis’ group at Columbia University as a Postdoc, to study neuronal circuitry dysfunction in the spinal cord of SMA mice and stem cell-derived motor neurons. By applying intracellular recordings combined with high resolution microscopy, Dr. Simon could identify novel mechanistic insights of neuronal death and the important contribution of proprioceptive neurons during SMA disease progression. In 2013, he received the Roche Young Investigator Award for neurological research. After his return to Germany in 2017, a grant from the German Research Council allowed him to start his own group in Leipzig.Dr. Christian Simon has been granted an SMA Europe award to investigate how proprioceptive synapses degenerate and how their function could be improved, which may aid the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies in humans.