Molecular Physiology of Somatic Sensation
Head of the Group
Prof. Dr. Gary Lewin
Dr. Cornelia Stärkel
31.2: Max Delbrück House (Flachbau)
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.