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Our Neuronal Physiology and Pathology Group investigates fundamental aspects of exocytosis, endocytosis and synaptic vesicle recycling that have relevance to neuronal and brain functions, using mouse and mammalian cells as model systems. We are developing new methodology and combine biochemistry, imaging (light and electron microscopy), cell biology and electrophysiology techniques to study the regulation of synaptic vesicle formation, as well as synaptic vesicle acidification and (re)filling. In a distinct but related line of work, we are exploring the signaling processes that originate from altered synaptic transmission and lead to neurodegeneration, in particular Parkinson's disease.
Ira studied Molecular Biology at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and undertook her MSc and PhD studies in Germany at the Georg-August University and International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) in Neuroscience as a Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds Scholar. She held the EMBO Long-Term Fellowship and Epilepsy Foundation Fellowship during her postdoctoral training with Pietro De Camilli at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. In 2013, Ira was awarded a prestigious Emmy Noether Young Investigator grant from the German Research Council to establish her own research programme at the European Neuroscience Institute - A Joint Initiative of the University Medical Center Göttingen and the Max Planck Society, focusing on the molecular underpinnings of synaptic transmission.
Ira joined the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics and Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford as Associate Professor and Group Head in 2020.
We are thankful to the John Fell Fund, the John Black Charitable Foundation and the Schram Stiftung for supporting our research work.