Santiago Ramon y Cajal - "Every man if he so desires becomes sculptor of his own brain."

Georg Dechant
Univ.-Prof. Dr.

Institute for Neuroscience

Innsbruck Medical University


Diploma Study in Biology and Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilans University, Munich Germany
PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany

Current SPIN Students
Current Research

Our laboratory studies how primary nerve cells and stem cell-derived neuronal cells can be programmed and re-programmed dependent on neural activity, neurotrophic growth factors and cell intrinsic cues. In transgenic mouse models we investigate mechanisms of learning and memory that depend on interaction of chromatin with the nuclear matrix protein SatB2.


We are also developing protocols to differentiate pluripotent stem cells of mouse and human origin into specific neuronal populations. These protocols are useful for establishing models of human neurological and psychiatric diseases based on the "induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology.

Key Techniques and Methods

  • Generation of human iPSC lines
  • Neuronal stem cell differentiation
  • Molecuar biology
  • Neuronal cell culture
  • Transgenic animal models
  • Confocal microscopy
Selected Publications

Jaitner C, Reddy C, Abentung A, Whittle N, Rieder D, Delekate A, Korte M, Jain G, Fischer A, Sananbenesi F, Cera I, Singewald N, Apostolova G, Dechant G, Satb2 determines miRNA expression and long-term memory in the adult central nervous system, eLife 2016;5:e17361.

Nat R and Dechant G. Directed differentiation of mouse and human embryonic stem cells into telencephalic neurons based on neural development in vivo. Stem Cells Dev. 2011 20:1-12

Loy B, Apostolova G, Dorn R, McGuire MA, Arthur JSC and Dechant G p38α and p38ß Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases Determine Cholinergic Transdifferentiation of Sympathetic Neurons. J.Neurosci. 2011 31:12059-67

Apostolova G, Loy B, Dorn R and Dechant G.The sympathetic neurotransmitter switch depends on the nuclear matrix protein SatB2, J. Neurosci: 2010 30:16356-64

Dechant,G. and Barde, Y.-A. The neurotrophin receptor p75NTR: novel functions indevelopment and implications in diseases. Nat. Neurosci .5:1131-1136, 2002

von Schack, D., Casademunt, E., Schweigreiter, R., Meyer, M., Bibel, M. and Dechant, G. Complete ablation of the neurotrophin receptor p75 causes defects both in the nervous and the vascular systems. Nat. Neurosci. 4:977-978, 2001


Bernhard Loy, Ahmad Salti, Clemens Jaitner,

Andreas Abentung, Chethan Reddy