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Jonas Group

Cellular Neuroscience

Synapses enable communication between neurons in the brain. The Jonas group investigates how signals pass through these vital interfaces – a major undertaking in the field of neuroscience.

Understanding the function of the brain is a major challenge in the 21st century. The human brain comprises ~100 billion neurons, which communicate through ~10000 synapses per cell. Excitatory synapses use glutamate as a transmitter, whereas inhibitory synapses release Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). The group addresses two major questions. First, what are the biophysical signaling and plasticity mechanisms at glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses in the cortex? Second, how do specific synaptic properties generate higher network functions? In their work, the group combines nanophysiology, presynaptic patch-clamp and multi-cell recording, two-photon Ca2+ imaging, optogenetics, functional anatomy (“flash and freeze” electron microscopy), in vivo recording, and modeling. One focus is hippocampal mossy fiber synapses and output synapses of parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic interneurons


Image of Christina Altmutter

Christina Altmutter

Research Technician

Image of Silvia Jamrichova

Silvia Jamrichova

PhD Student

Image of Eleftheria Kralli Beller

Eleftheria Kralli Beller

Assistant to Professors

Image of Katharina Lichter

Katharina Lichter


Image of Peipeng Lin

Peipeng Lin

PhD Student

Image of Florian Marr

Florian Marr

Research Technician/Laboratory Manager

+43 2243 9000 3702

Image of Rebecca Morse Mora

Rebecca Morse Mora

PhD Student

Image of Andrea Navas Olive

Andrea Navas Olive


Image of Magdalena Picher

Magdalena Picher


+43 2243 9000 7651

Image of Alois Schlögl

Scientific Computing

+43 2243 9000 1042

Image of Victor Vargas Barroso

Victor Vargas Barroso


Image of Jake Watson

Jake Watson


Current Projects

Biophysical mechanisms of synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses | Structural changes underlying transmission and plasticity at central synapses | Analysis of neuronal coding in vivo and in realistic network models

Recent Publications

Vandael DH, Jonas PM. 2024. Structure, biophysics, and circuit function of a ‘giant’ cortical presynaptic terminal. Science. 383(6687), eadg6757. View

Chen J, Kaufmann W, Chen C, Arai itaru, Kim O, Shigemoto R, Jonas PM. 2024. Developmental transformation of Ca2+ channel-vesicle nanotopography at a central GABAergic synapse. Neuron. 112(5), 755–771.e9. View

Koppensteiner P, Bhandari P, Önal C, Borges Merjane C, Le Monnier E, Roy U, Nakamura Y, Sadakata T, Sanbo M, Hirabayashi M, Rhee J, Brose N, Jonas PM, Shigemoto R. 2024. GABAB receptors induce phasic release from medial habenula terminals through activity-dependent recruitment of release-ready vesicles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 121(8), e2301449121. View

Michalska JM, Lyudchik J, Velicky P, Korinkova H, Watson J, Cenameri A, Sommer CM, Amberg N, Venturino A, Roessler K, Czech T, Höftberger R, Siegert S, Novarino G, Jonas PM, Danzl JG. 2023. Imaging brain tissue architecture across millimeter to nanometer scales. Nature Biotechnology. View

Velicky P, Miguel Villalba E, Michalska JM, Lyudchik J, Wei D, Lin Z, Watson J, Troidl J, Beyer J, Ben Simon Y, Sommer CM, Jahr W, Cenameri A, Broichhagen J, Grant SGN, Jonas PM, Novarino G, Pfister H, Bickel B, Danzl JG. 2023. Dense 4D nanoscale reconstruction of living brain tissue. Nature Methods. 20, 1256–1265. View

View All Publications

ReX-Link: Peter Jonas


Since 2022 Magdalena Walz Professor for Life Sciences, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
Since 2010 Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
1995 – 2010 Professor of Physiology and Department Head, University of Freiburg, Germany
1994 – 1995 Associate Professor, Technical University of Munich, Germany
1990 – 1994 Senior Postdoc, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
1988 – 1989 Postdoc, University of Giessen, Germany
1987 MD, University of Giessen, Germany

Selected Distinctions

2022 Magdalena Walz Professor for Life Sciences
2021 Peter Seeburg Integrative Neuroscience Prize of the Society of Neuroscience (100,000 $)  
2019 Member, EMBO
2018 Erwin Schrödinger Prize, Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
2016 FWF Wittgenstein Award
2016 ERC Advanced Grant GIANTSYN
2016 Elected Member Editorial Board, Neuron
2015 Member, Academia Europaea
2011 ERC Advanced Grant NANOPHYS
2009 Adolf Fick Award, Physical-Medical Society, Würzburg, Germany
2008 Member, Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg, Germany
2007 Member of the Board of Reviewing Editors, Science
2007 Tsungming Tu Award, National Science Council Taiwan
2006 DFG Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award
2002 Member, German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
1998 Max Planck Research Award
1997 Medinfar European Prize in Physiology, President of Portugal
1994 BMBF Heinz Maier Leibnitz Award
1992 DFG Heisenberg Fellowship

Additional Information

Open Jonas group website
Download Peter Jonas CV

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