Helmut Kettenmann's area of research is the field of neuron-glia interaction. This field has experienced a dramatic growth in the last two decades since neuroscientists have recognized that glial cells play an active role in many brain processes. Helmut Kettenmann was essential in establishing the concept that glial cells express a variety of neurotransmitter systems and have, thereby, the possibility to respond to neuronal activity. These results have established the concept that brain activity is a common activity of neurons and glial cells. In the recent years he has also focused his research on the role of glia in brain diseases and he has significantly contributed to the concept that glial cells strongly affect pathologic processes in brain diseases such as stroke or glioma.
He was instrumental in fostering neuroscience research in Europe.
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