Bill Hansson & Silke Sachse

MPI-CE, Bill Hansson (BH) & Silke Sachse (SS)

Scientific Expertise & Collaborations: Since 2006, Bill Hanson (BH) is Director of the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (ICE). The focus of research in the Department is to study odour-directed behaviour and its underlying neurobiological substrate in insects from a functional and evolutionary perspective using the two main systems, drosophilid flies and sphingid moths. 

Silke Sachse (SS) is leading a research group at the ICE with the focus on elucidating the neural circuits underlying olfactory coding and processing in insects. The key methods in her group are optical recording of the insect brain using conventional and two-photon functional imaging as well as in vivo patch-clamp recordings of olfactory neurons in D. melanogaster

Training & Research Environment: 

MPI-CE has an outstanding experience in hosting scientists and co-workers from foreign countries. The official language at the institute is English; the institute provides classes both in German and English. MPI-CE is running, together with the local University and two Leibniz Research Institutes, an international PhD program (International Max Planck Research School, IMPRS, with currently 77 PhD students. The IMPRS is the first graduate school where chemical and molecular techniques are used to study ecological systems. Students can combine the advances of new developments in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics with the most advanced techniques in ecological analysis for a whole-organismic and inter-organismic analysis of function. Within the curriculum of the IMPRS, MPI-CE provides a broad choice of lectures and practical training courses to improve the students’ education and training in several scientific disciplines. Presentation skills courses, workshops on how to apply for postdoctoral funding, courses on writing and publishing journal papers, courses on how to apply for jobs and learning the procedure from patenting to selling a product are held in due time.

Most relevant publications:

1. Sargsyan VGetahun MNLlanos SLOlsson SBHansson BSWicher D (2011) Phosphorylation via PKC Regulates the Function of the Drosophila Odorant Co-ReceptorFront Cell Neurosci. 2011;5:5

2. Stökl JStrutz ADafni ASvatos ADoubsky JKnaden MSachse SHansson BSStensmyr MC (2010) A deceptive pollination system targeting drosophilids through olfactory mimicry of yeastCurr Biol 20(20):1846-52

3. Seki Y, Rybak J, Wicher D, Sachse S, Hansson BS (2010), Physiological and morphological characterization of local interneurons in the Drosophila antennal lobe. J Neurophysiol. 104(2):1007

4. Wicher D, Schafer R, Bauernfeind R, Stensmyr MC, Heller R, Heinemann SH, Hansson BS (2008). Drosophila odorant receptors are both ligand-gated and cyclicnucleotide- activated cation channels. Nature 452:1007-1011

5. Sachse, S., Rueckert, E., Keller, A., Okada, R., Tanaka, N.K., Ito, K. & Vosshall, L.B. (2007). Activity-dependent plasticity in an olfactory circuit. Neuron 56:838-850.