Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchhoff

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Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchhoff

Sektionssprecher "Molekulare Neurobiologie"

Molecular Physiology
Center for Integrative Physiology and Molecular Medicine (CIPMM)
University of Saarland
Building 48, 66421 Homburg, Germany
Phone:    +49 6841 16 16440

Curriculum Vitae

Date and place of birth    November 1, 1960; Despetal/Barfelde, Germany

Scientific Education and Employment

since 2009 Full Professor (W3) and Head of the Department of Molecular Physiology,
CIPMM, University of Saarland, Homburg, Germany
2000-2009 Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, Göttingen
1997-2008 Lecturer at the Free University of Berlin
1997 Habilitation in Biochemistry, Free University of Berlin
1995-1999 Research Assistant, Cellular Neurosciences, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin
1991-1994 Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
1986-1990 PhD (Dr. rer. nat.), Institute of Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
1985 Diploma in Biochemistry, Institute of Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
1981-1985 Study of Biochemistry, University of Hannover


Honours, Distinctions and Community Services

Since 2018 Senator of the University of Saarland
Since 2016 Member of the Academia Europaea
Since 2016 Coordinator of EU-H2020-MSCA ITN EU-GliaPhD
Since 2015 Editorial board member of NeuroForum
Since 2014 „Visiting Professor“ at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Craiova, Romania, and of the University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
Since 2013 Coordinator of the DFG Priority Programme SPP 1757 “Glial Heterogeneity” (with Prof. Christine Rose, Düsseldorf)
Since 2013 Member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) Achucarro Basque Center of Neuroscience in Bilbao-Zamudio (Spain)
Since 2010 Editorial board member of Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Since 2009 Editorial board member of GLIA
1987-1989 PhD Fellowship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds
1981-1986 Fellowship of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes


Ad hoc reviewer for scientific journals: Cell Calcium, European Journal of Neuroscience, Glia, Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Journal of Neuroscience Research, Journal for Neuroscience, Journal of Physiology, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Nature, Neuron Glia Biology, PLoS One, PLoS Biology, Science, Science Signaling, eLife

Ad hoc reviewer for scientific grant agencies: European Research Council (ERC, EU), Deutsche Forschungs­gemeinschaft (DFG, D), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, DE),  Agence National de la Recherche (ANR, F), Fondation Recherche Medical (FRM, F), ARSEP (F), Wellcome Trust (UK), Medical Research Council (MRC, UK), Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GACR, CZ), International Spinal Research Trust (ISRT, UK), Wings of Life (AU)





Research Interests

Our research focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuron-glia interaction in the central nervous system. We are pursuing the following research questions: How do glial transmitter receptors sense and modulate synaptic transmission? What is the impact for living organisms? How do glial cells respond to acute injuries within the central nervous system?

List of selected publications (more than 100 publications, H-Factor: 52)

  • Jahn HM, Kasakow CV, Helfer A, Michely J, Verkhratsky A, Maurer HH, Scheller A and Kirchhoff F (2018) Refined protocols of tamoxifen injection for inducible DNA recombination in mouse astroglia. Scientific Reports 8, 5913.
  • Cartarozzi LP, Rieder P, Bai X, Scheller A, Oliveira ALR, Kirchhoff F (2018) In vivo two-photon imaging of motoneurons and adjacent glia in the ventral spinal cord. J Neurosci Methods 299:8-15.
  • Schwarz Y, Zhao N, Kirchhoff F, Bruns D (2017) Astrocytes control synaptic strength by two distinct v-SNARE-dependent release pathways. Nat Neurosci 20: 1529-1539.
  • Saab AS, Tzvetavona ID, Trevisiol A, Baltan S, Dibaj P, Kusch K, Möbius W, Goetze B, Jahn HM, Huang W, Steffens H, Schomburg ED, Pérez-Samartín A, Pérez-Cerdá F, Bakhtiari D, Matute C, Löwel S, Griesinger C, Hirrlinger J, Kirchhoff F, Nave KA (2016) Oligodendroglial NMDA Receptors Regulate Glucose Import and Axonal Energy Metabolism. Neuron 91:119-32.
  • Rudolph R, Jahn HM, Courjaret R, Messemer N, Kirchhoff F, Deitmer JW (2016) The inhibitory input to mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells is reciprocally modulated by Bergmann glial P2Y1 and AMPA receptor signaling. Glia 64: 1265-80.
  • Huang W, Zhao N, Bai X, Karram K, Trotter J, Goebbels S, Scheller A, Kirchhoff F (2014) Novel NG2-CreERT2 knock-in mice demonstrate heterogeneous differentiation potential of NG2 glia during development. Glia 62: 896-913.
  • Kettenmann H, Kirchhoff F, Verkhratsky A (2013) Microglia: new roles for the synaptic stripper. Neuron 9: 10-8.
  • Saab AS, Neumeyer A, Jahn HM, Cupido A, Šimek AAM, Boele HJ, Scheller A, Le Meur K, Götz M, Monyer H, Sprengel R, Rubio ME, Deitmer JW, De Zeeuw CI and Kirchhoff F (2012) Bergmann Glial AMPA Receptors are Required for Fine Motor Coordination. Science 337:749-53
  • Dibaj P, Nadrigny F, Steffens H, Scheller A, Hirrlinger J, Schomburg ED, Neusch C, Kirchhoff F (2010) NO mediates microglial response to acute spinal cord injury under ATP control in vivo. Glia 58:1133-1144.
  • Hirrlinger J, Scheller A, Hirrlinger PG, Kellert B, Tang W, Wehr MC, Goebbels S, Reichenbach A, Sprengel R, Rossner MJ, Kirchhoff F (2009) Split-cre complementation indicates coincident activity of different genes in vivo. Plos One 4:e4286.
  • Hirrlinger PG, Scheller A, Braun C, Hirrlinger J, Kirchhoff F (2006) Temporal control of gene recombination in astrocytes by transgenic expression of the tamoxifen-inducible DNA recombinase variant CreERT2. Glia 54:11-20.
  • Nimmerjahn A, Kirchhoff F, Helmchen F (2005) Resting microglial cells are highly dynamic surveillants of brain parenchyma in vivo. Science 308:1314-1318.
  • Hirrlinger J, Hulsmann S, Kirchhoff F (2004) Astroglial processes show spontaneous motility at active synaptic terminals in situ. Eur J Neurosci 20:2235-2239.