Field of interest at Cell-Circuit-Control: molecular sensors; molecular actuators and neuro-behavioral imaging
Field of interest at Cell-Circuit-Control: molecular sensors; molecular actuators and neuro-behavioral imaging

Our laboratory's work is focused on bioengineering of next generation molecular imaging and remote control technology to enable closed-loop cell-circuit-control with spatiotemporal precision and deep tissue penetration. We bring these methods to bear on the study of neuronal circuit activity in elementary sensory-motor programs in fish and rodent models.

Lab website

Group leader

Image Name Job Title E-mail Telephone Building/Room
Prof. Dr. Westmeyer,
Faculty scientist, Group leader E-mail +49 (0) 89 3187 2123 3532/202

Relevant publications

Stefanoiu, A., Page, J., Symvoulidis, P., Westmeyer, G.G., Lasser, T. Artifact-free deconvolution in light field microscopy. Optics Express 27, 31644–31666 (2019). doi:10.1364/OE.27.031644

Sigmund, F., Pettinger,S., Kube, M., Schneider, F., Schifferer, M., Schneider, S., Efremova, M., Pujol-Martí, J., Aichler, M., Walch, A., Misgeld, T., Dietz, H., Westmeyer, G.G. Iron-Sequestering Nanocompartments as Multiplexed Electron Microscopy Gene Reporters. ACS Nano 13, 8114–8123 (2019). doi:10.1021/acsnano.9b03140

Lauri, A., Soliman, D., Omar,M., Stelzl, A., Ntziachristos, V., Westmeyer, G.G. Whole-cell photoacoustic sensor based on pigmentrelocalization. ACS Sensors 4, 603-612 (2019). doi:10.1021/acssensors.8b01319

Dang, K.M., Rinklin, P., Afanasenkau, D., Westmeyer, G., Schürholz, T., Wiegand, S., Wolfrum, B. Chip‐Based Heat Stimulation for Modulating Signal Propagation in HL‐1 Cell Networks. Advanced Biosystems 39, 1800138 (2018). doi:10.1002/adbi.201800138

Sigmund, F., Massner, C., Erdmann, P., Stelzl, A., Rolbieski, H., Desai, M., Bricault, S., Wörner, T.P., Snijder, J., Geerlof, A., Fuchs, H., Hrabĕ de Angelis, M., Heck, A.J.R., Jasanoff, A., Ntziachristos, V., Plitzko J., Westmeyer, G.G. Bacterial encapsulins as orthogonal compartments for mammalian cell engineering. Nature Communications 9 (2018), DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04227-3

Massner, C., Sigmund, F., Pettinger, S., Seeger, M., Hartmann, C., Ivleva, N.P., Niessner, R., Fuchs, H., Hrabě de Angelis, M., Stelzl, A., Koonakampully, N.L., Rolbieski, H., Wiedwald, U., Spasova, M., Wurst, W., Ntziachristos, V., Winklhofer, M., Westmeyer, G.G. Genetically Controlled Lysosomal Entrapment of Superparamagnetic Ferritin for Multimodal and Multiscale Imaging and Actuation with Low Tissue Attenuation. Advanced Functional Materials 13 March 2018 (2018) doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201706793

Myklatun, A., Lauri, A., Eder, S.H.K., Cappetta, M., Shcherbakov, D., Wurst, W., Winklhofer, M., Westmeyer, G.G. Zebrafish and medaka offer insights into the neurobehavioral correlates of vertebrate magnetoreception. Nat Commun 9, 802. (2018) doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03090-6

Myklatun A., Cappetta M., Winklhofer M., Ntziachristos V., Westmeyer G.G. Microfluidic sorting of intrinsically magnetic cells under visual control Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 6942. (2017) doi:  10.1038/s41598-017-06946-x

Symvoulidis P., Lauri A., Stefanoiu A., Cappetta M., Schneider S., Jia H., Stelzl A., Koch M., Perez C.C., Myklatun A., Renninger S., Chmyrov A., Lasser T., Wurst W., Ntziachristos V., Westmeyer G.G. NeuBtracker—imaging neurobehavioral dynamics in freely behaving fish, Nat Methods. 2017 Oct 2. (2017) doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.4459

Roberts S., Seeger M., Jiang Y., Mishra A., Sigmund F., Stelzl A., Lauri A., Symvoulidis P., Rolbieski H., Preller M., Deán Ben X.L., Razansky D., Orschmann T., Desbordes S., Vetschera P., Bach T., Ntziachristos V., Westmeyer G.G. Calcium Sensor for Photoacoustic Imaging J. Am. Chem. Soc., Just Accepted Manuscript (2017) doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b03064

Mishra, A, Pariani, G., Oerther T., Schwaiger, M., Westmeyer, G. G. Hyperpolarized Multi-Metal 13C-Sensors for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Anal. Chem., Article ASAP, (2016), doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b03546

Mishra A, Jiang Y., Roberts S., Ntziachristos V,. Westmeyer G. G. Near-infrared photoacoustic imaging probe responsive to calcium, Anal. Chem., Article ASAP, (2016), doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b03039

Fiallos A., Bricault S., Cai L., Worku H., Colonnese M., Westmeyer G. G., Jasanoff A. Reward magnitude tracking by neural populations in ventral striatum, NeuroImage, (2016), doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.10.036

Deán-Ben, X., Sela, G., Lauri, A., Kneipp, M., Ntziachristos, V., Westmeyer, G. G., Shoham S., Razansky, D. Functional optoacoustic neuro-tomography (FONT) for scalable whole-brain monitoring of calcium indicators. Light: Science & Applications,  (2016), doi: 10.1038/lsa.2016.201

Jiang, Y., Sigmund, F., Reber, J., Deán-Ben, X. L., Glasl, S., Kneipp, M., Estrada, H., Razansky, D., Ntziachristos, V., and Westmeyer, G. G., Violacein as a genetically-controlled, enzymatically amplified and photobleaching-resistant chromophore for optoacoustic bacterial imaging, Sci Rep 5, (2015), doi: 10.1038/srep11048

Stiel, A. C., Deán-Ben, X. L., Jiang, Y., Ntziachristos, V., Razansky, D., and Westmeyer, G. G High-contrast imaging of reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins via temporally unmixed multispectral optoacoustic tomography Optics letters 40, 367–370 (2015), doi: 10.1364/OL.40.000367

Westmeyer, G. G., Emer, Y., Lintelmann, J., & Jasanoff, A. MRI-Based Detection of Alkaline Phosphatase Gene Reporter Activity Using a Porphyrin Solubility Switch. Chemistry & Biology. (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2014.01.012

Westmeyer, G. G., Durocher, Y., and Jasanoff, A. A secreted enzyme reporter system for MRI, Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 49: 3909-3911 (2010), doi: 10.1002/anie.200906712

Shapiro*, M. G., Westmeyer*, G. G., Romero, P. A., Szablowski, J. O., Kuster, B., Shah, A., Otey, C. R., Langer, R., Arnold, F. H., and Jasanoff, A. Directed evolution of a magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent for noninvasive imaging of dopamine, Nat Biotechnol 28: 264-270; (2010), doi: 10.1038/nbt.1609

Westmeyer, G. G., and Jasanoff, A. Genetically controlled MRI contrast mechanisms and their prospects in systems neuroscience research, Magn Reson Imaging 25: 1004-1010 (2007), doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2006.11.027

Shapiro, M. G., Atanasijevic, T., Faas, H., Westmeyer, G. G., and Jasanoff, A. Dynamic imaging with MRI contrast agents: quantitative considerations, Magn Reson Imaging 24: 449-462 (2006), doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2005.12.033

Westmeyer, G. G., Willem, M., Lichtenthaler, S. F., Lurman, G., Multhaup, G., Assfalg-Machleidt, I., Reiss, K., Saftig, P., and Haass, C. Dimerization of beta-site beta-amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme, J Biol Chem, 279: 53205-53212 (2006), doi: 10.1074/jbc.M410378200


Image Name Job Title E-mail Telephone Building/Room
Prof. Dr. Westmeyer,
Faculty scientist, Group leader E-mail +49 (0) 89 3187 2123 3532/202
Dong-Jiunn Jeffery
Ph.D. Student E-mail +49 (0) 89 3187 2123 3532/202
Ph.D. Student E-mail +49 (0) 89 3187 2217 3532/003
Ph.D. Student E-mail +49 89 3187 2184 3532/207
Ph.D. Student E-mail +49 (0) 89 3187 49429 3532/207
Dr. Efremova,
Visitor Scientist E-mail +49 (0) 89 3187 43488 3532/207
Ammer (Stelzl),
Technical Assistant E-mail +49 (0) 89 3187 2157 35.32/001

Research Highlights

Our research team is interested in developing non-invasive methods for molecular read-out and control, with the ultimate goal to enable closed-loop cell circuit control with spatiotemporal precision and deep tissue penetration in particular for neuroscientific applications. To this end, we use protein and genetic engineering techniques to create biophysical interfaces between molecular processes of interest and non-invasive imaging or actuation devices. With respect to molecular imaging sensors we innovate on genetically encoded biosynthetic pigments, (switchable) chromoproteins, and synthetic near-infrared chromic sensors for molecular photoacoustic imaging, as well as metalloproteins and synthetic hyperpolarizable compounds for molecular MRI. As pertains to molecular actuators, we are especially focused on genetic methods to render cells responsive to magnetic fields. We apply these molecular intterrogation tools to dissect the neuronal network activity underlying elementary sensory-motor programs in fish and rodent models.