Roeper Lab

Understanding the diversity of dopamine neurons

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. med. Jochen Roeper

Director, Institute of Neurophysiology
Director, Center of Physiology

+49-(0)69-6301-84092 (Personal Assistant’s line)

What we do

Scientific Focus

The group focusses on the physiology and pathophysiology of the dopaminergic midbrain system, which is involved in key brain functions like voluntary movement, motivation and cogition. The dopaminergic system is involved in major brain disorders like Parkinson diseases, Schizophrenia or ADHD.

We study the mechanisms and chronic plasticity of ion channels and electrical activity generated by different subtypes of dopaminergic midbrain neurons and their role of function and dysfunction in the brain.


We mainly use in vitro and in vivo patch-clamp and microelectrode recordings in mouse brain combined with neuroanatomical tracing, stereology, immunohistochemistry and transgenic as well as neurotoxicological models.


Anastasia Diamantopoulou

Post-doctoral researcher

Pascal Vogel

Post-doctoral researcher

Solmaz Bikas

Johannes Boehm
cand. med.

Richard Egger
cand. med.

Niklas Hammer
cand. med.

Sebastian Hartmann
cand. med.

Marle Jahnke
cand. med.

Lora Kovacheva

MD/PhD program

Yingning Lu
cand. med.

Johanna Mankel
cand. med.

Nick Schaar
cand. med.

Daniela Schenkel
cand. med.

Strahinja Stojanovic
cand. med.

Tabea Ziouziou
cand. med.

    1. Impaired recruitment of dopamine neurons during working memory in mice with striatal D2 receptor overexpression. Duvarci S, Simpson E, Schneider G, Kandel E, Roeper J* and Sigurdsson T*. Nature Comm. 2018. 9: 2822. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05214-4. *Shared senior authors
    2. Mutant α-Synuclein Overexpression Induces Stressless Pacemaking in Vagal Motoneurons at Risk in Parkinson’s Disease. Lasser-Katz E, Simchovitz A, Chiu WH, Oertel WH, Sharon R, Soreq H, Roeper J and Goldberg JA. J Neurosci. 2017 Jan 4;37(1):47-57.
    3. Increased dopamine D2 receptor activity in the striatum alters the firing pattern of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Krabbe S, Duda J, Schiemann J, Poetschke C, Schneider G, Kandel ER, Liss B, Roeper J* and Simpson EH*. PNAS. 2015 Mar 24;112(12):E1498-506. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500450112. Epub 2015 Feb 9. *Shared senior authors
    4. Mutant α-synuclein enhances firing frequencies in dopamine substantia nigra neurons by oxidative impairment of A-type potassium channels. Subramaniam M, Althof D, Gispert S, Schwenk J, Auburger G, Kulik A, Fakler B, Roeper J. J Neurosci. 2014 Oct 8;34(41):13586-99. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5069-13.2014.
    5. Regional diversity and developmental dynamics of the AMPA-receptor proteome in the mammalian brain. Schwenk J, Baehrens D, Haupt A, Bildl W, Boudkkazi S, Roeper J, Fakler B, Schulte U. Neuron. 2014 Oct 1;84(1):41-54. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.044. Epub 2014 Sep 18.
    6. K-ATP channels in dopamine substantia nigra neurons control bursting and novelty-induced exploration. Schiemann J, Schlaudraff F, Klose V, Bingmer M, Seino S, Magill PJ, Zaghloul KA, Schneider G, Liss B, Roeper J. Nat Neurosci. 2012 Sep;15(9):1272-80. doi: 10.1038/nn.3185. Epub 2012 Aug 19.
    7. Projection-specific modulation of dopamine neuron synapses by aversive and rewarding stimuli. Lammel S, Ion DI, Roeper J, Malenka RC. Neuron. 2011 Jun 9;70(5):855-62. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.03.025.
    8. Unique properties of mesoprefrontal neurons within a dual mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. Lammel S, Hetzel A, Häckel O, Jones I, Liss B, Roeper J. Neuron. 2008 Mar 13;57(5):760-73. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.01.022.
    9. K-ATP channels promote the differential degeneration of dopaminergic midbrain neurons. Liss B, Haeckel O, Wildmann J, Miki T, Seino S, Roeper J. Nat Neurosci. 2005 Dec;8(12):1742-51. Epub 2005 Nov 20.
    10. ATP-sensitive K+ channels in the hypothalamus are essential for the maintenance of glucose homeostasis. Miki T, Liss B, Minami K, Shiuchi T, Saraya A, Kashima Y, Horiuchi M, Ashcroft F, Minokoshi Y, Roeper J, Seino S. Nat Neurosci. 2001 May;4(5):507-12.
    11. α-Synuclein-induced Kv4 channelopathy in mouse vagal motoneurons drives nonmotor parkinsonian symptoms.
      Chiu WH, Kovacheva L, Musgrove RE, Arien-Zakay H, Koprich JB, Brotchie JM, Yaka R, Ben-Zvi D, Hanani M, Roeper J, Goldberg JA. Sci Adv. 2021 Mar 10;7(11):eabd3994. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abd3994
    12. In vivo patch-clamp recordings reveal distinct subthreshold signatures and threshold dynamics of midbrain dopamine neurons.
      Otomo K, Perkins J, Kulkarni A, Stojanovic S, Roeper J, Paladini CA. Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 8;11(1):6286. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20041-2.
    13. Inhibition of histone deacetylation rescues phenotype in a mouse model of Birk-Barel intellectual disability syndrome.
      Cooper A, Butto T, Hammer N, Jagannath S, Fend-Guella DL, Akhtar J, Radyushkin K, Lesage F, Winter J, Strand S, Roeper J, Zechner U, Schweiger S. Nat Commun. 2020 Jan 24;11(1):480. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13918-4