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Siegert Group

Microglia-Neuron Interaction

Identifying brain function has primarily concentrated on how environmental signals are encoded within a complex neuronal network—the impact of glia cells embedded within this network has mostly been overlooked.

Microglia play a particularly fascinating role in the nervous system because they constantly surveil their environment and can actively alter neuronal connectivity. The Siegert group is interested in how microglia detect and interpret local environmental cues, and how they influence the neuronal system without causing brain dysfunction. This is of particular interest as misinformed or functionally impaired microglia can disrupt neuronal connections, leading to various disease phenotypes ranging from depression to Alzheimer’s disease.

In their research, the Siegert group combines molecular, cellular, and behavioral neuroscience, as well as virology, immunology, and epigenetics together with strategies of applied mathematics and machine learning. For their model system, they focus on well-defined brain regions, such as the retina. Moreover, to model human-related aspects, they employ human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).

On this site:


Current Projects

Disentangle the morph-functional relationship of microglia | How to alter microglia function and pinpoint the consequences on the neuronal network | Microglia-neuron interaction in the human context


Maes ME, Colombo G, Schoot Uiterkamp FE, Sternberg F, Venturino A, Pohl EE, Siegert S. 2023. Mitochondrial network adaptations of microglia reveal sex-specific stress response after injury and UCP2 knockout. iScience. 26(10), 107780. 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

Hübschmann V, Korkut M, Siegert S. 2022. Assessing human iPSC-derived microglia identity and function by immunostaining, phagocytosis, calcium activity, and inflammation assay. STAR Protocols. 3(4), 101866. View

Colombo G, Cubero RJ, Kanari L, Venturino A, Schulz R, Scolamiero M, Agerberg J, Mathys H, Tsai L-H, Chachólski W, Hess K, Siegert S. 2022. A tool for mapping microglial morphology, morphOMICs, reveals brain-region and sex-dependent phenotypes. Nature Neuroscience. 25(10), 1379–1393. View

Schulz R, Korkut M, Venturino A, Colombo G, Siegert S. 2022. Chimeric GPCRs mimic distinct signaling pathways and modulate microglia responses. Nature Communications. 13, 4728. View

View All Publications

ReX-Link: Sandra Siegert


since 2023 Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2015 – 2023 Assistant Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2011 – 2015 Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
2010 PhD, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland

Selected Distinctions

2017 Liese Prokop Award
2016 ERC Starting Grant
2012 HFSP Long-term Fellowship
2011 EMBO Long-term Fellowship
2011 SNSF Fellowship for prospective researchers

Additional Information

View Orcid account
Open Siegert lab website

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