Molecular Physiology of Somatic Sensation


Head of the Group

Prof. Dr. Gary Lewin



Dr. Cornelia Stärkel

31.2: Max Delbrück House (Flachbau)

Room 0231

Tel. +49 30 9406 3134

Fax. +49 30 9406 2793


Sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia allow us to detect stimuli to the body surface that lead directly to the sensations such as touch and pain. In my group we are interested in the genes that allow these neurons to transduce different types of stimuli. Sensory neurons can, for example, detect changes in temperature of the skin in non-noxious (not painful) as well as the noxious range (painful heat or cold). They can also detect gentle movement of the skin as well as intense mechanical stimulation of the skin that is normally harmful. The nature of the transduction molecules involved together with the developmental events that lead to specification of the appropriate sensory neuron sub-types are actively investigated in my lab.