"Mechanisms of Brain State Control" Oxford-Charité Mini Symposium

New insights into the deepest layer of the cortex

Members of Oxford Neuroscience and the Neuroscience Cluster of Excellence at Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin held a joint mini symposium on "Mechanisms of Brain State Control” at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics on Tuesday 19 March 2024. The Berlin speakers were Professor Britta Eickholt, Professor Matthew Larkum, Dr Timothy Zolnik and Miss Aasha Meenakshisundaram and the Oxford speakers included the groups of Professor Zoltán Molnár, Professor Ed Mann and Professor Alastair Buchan. The Berlin delegation also attended the Oxford Neuroscience Symposium on 20 March, which gave them an excellent overview of research activities in Oxford.

Dr Timothy Zolnik spoke on 'Redefining cortical foundations: Unveiling the mysteries of layer 6b'. This follows on from a paper published by Professor Molnár, Dr Zolnik, Professor Larkum and Professor Eickholt in 2023. Their collaborative work serves to better understand the abnormalities of early cortical circuit formation by the earliest generated and largely transient neurons of layer 6b in schizophrenia, autism and epileptic conditions and disorders. 

The work for this paper was supported by an Einstein Visiting Fellowship for Professor Molnár, allowing him to be associated with Charité, Berlin for the last four years. Professors Molnár and Buchan both hold a fellowship at Charité and Professor Molnár's has been recently renewed for 2024-2026. This is a fantastic example of how the Einstein Fellowship has helped to create the basis for a joint research focus between Berlin and Oxford. The continuation of the Einstein Fellowship to Professor Molnár will allow for further fruitful collaboration between Oxford and Berlin.