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Prof. Dr.

Alexander Borst

Year of election: 2011
Section: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
City: Martinsried
Country: Germany
CV Alexander Borst - Deutsch (pdf)

Research

Alexander Borst’s scientific focus is on neural computation. As an example for that, he studies motion vision on flies. Already at his time at Friedrich-Mischer-Laboratory of the Max-Planck-Society, he could demonstrate that elementary motion detection in flies follows the rules of the so-called ‘Reichardt-Detector’, where signals from adjacent photoreceptors become multiplied after one on of them has been delayded by a low-pass filter.

Combining genetic methods, electrophysiology and modelling, he and his team recently discovered that motion information is extracted from the retinal images in two separate channels. An ON-channel only processes moving dark-bright edges, while an OFF-channel processes moving bright-dark-edges. Both pathways converge at the level of the large output neurons of the fly optic lobe. Current work aims at identifying all those neurons in the fly visual system that participate in motion detection and, thus, to unravel the complete neural circuit underlying this basic and important form of neural computation.

Werdegang

  • seit 2001 Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für Neurobiologie in München und außerplanmäßiger Professor an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • 1999-2001 Professor an der University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 1993-1999 Nachwuchsgruppenleiter am Friedrich Miescher-Labor der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Tübingen
  • 1984-1993 Postdoktorand am Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik in Tübingen
  • 1989 Habilitation an der Eberhardt-Karls-Universität Tübingen
  • 1984 Promotion bei Martin Heisenberg
  • 1981 Diplom im Fach Genetik

Projekte

  • seit 2010 DFG-Projekt „Neurogenetische Sektion des Schaltkreises für visuelle Bewegungsdetektion in der Fruchtfliege Drosophila melanogaster“, Teilprojekt zu SFB 870 „Bildung und Funktion neuronaler Schaltkreise in sensorischen Systemen“
  • 2005-2014 Beteiligt am Graduiertenkolleg GRK 1091 „Orientierung und Bewegung im Raum“
  • 2006-2014 Beteiligt am Exzellenzcluster EXC 142 „Kognition für technische Systeme – CoTeSys“

Auszeichnungen und Mitgliedschaften

  • 2014 Valentino Braitenberg Award in Computational Neurobiology
  • 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Award
  • 2012 Adrian Lecturer, Cambridge, UK
  • 2012 Heller Lecturer, Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel
  • seit 2012 Mitglied der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
  • seit 2011 Mitglied der Nationalen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina
  • seit 2011 Mitglied der European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
  • 2010 Directors Lecture, NIH, USA
  • 2006 Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Award
  • 2003 Erasmus Lecturer, Rotterdam, Niederlande
  • 2001 Dupont Lecturer, Tucson, USA
  • 1986 Otto Hahn-Medaille der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

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