In the chemosensation laboratory, we aim to unravel sensory as well as endo-/paracrine signaling mechanisms in two rather different tissues.

One of our major research interests focuses on chemosensory signaling processes that control social behavior. Pheromones and other chemical cues convey important information about sex, social and endocrine state as well as the immune status of conspecifics. These chemosignals are detected by the accessory olfactory system, which triggers stereotyped social behaviors and affects the recipient’s hormonal state. The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying accessory olfactory system function are the center of our work.

Our second, and at first glance unrelated research focus is the development of male germ cells (spermatogenesis). This complex lifelong development process controls the proliferation, differentiation, and maturation of sperm from a pool of testicular stem cells and is, therefore, precisely orchestrated by a variety of (bio)chemical signaling events. Here, we aim to uncover the underlying principles and shed light on fundamental mechanisms that control male (in)fertility.

Despite obvious differences in both fields, many of the basic functional principles are similar: Detection of chemical stimuli is transduced into specific responses via complex signaling cascades. Our main goal, therefore, is to understand these signaling mechanisms on a molecular, cellular, and network level.

Using state-of-the-art microscopy and physiological recording methods as well as molecular, biochemical, and behavioral techniques, we investigate the underlying processes.

On our website, we invite you to browse and explore the specific physiological issues we address in our laboratory.