Dietmar Schmucker, PhD

University Bonn
Department of Neuronal Wiring

Prof Schmucker studied at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (LMU) and did his Ph.D. at the Max-Planck Institute in Goettingen, Germany. The subject was Drosophila Neurogenetics, his supervisor Dr. H. Jaeckle. He went on to do a 4 year postdoc in Los Angeles with Larry Zipursky, HHMI Investigator at UCLA. At the end of 2001 Prof Schmucker started his own lab as Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurobiology, with promotion to Associated Professor in January 2008. At the end of 2009 he got recruited to VIB Leuven and KU Leuven to head the neuronal wiring unit. In 2019 he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship with the opportunity to move to Germany and expand his neurodevelopmental research at the Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) and DZNE in Bonn Germany.

Throughout his professional career his research interest was on neuronal wiring, with a focus on genetics, biochemistry and imaging. Prof Schmucker discovered the molecular diversity of the neuronal receptor Dscam1, an alternatively spliced gene providing tens of thousands of receptor isoforms, essential for neuronal self-avoidance and axonal branching. His current studies focus on elucidating mechanisms of axonal branching, axon degeneration/regeneration, CNS synaptogenesis, and membrane receptor function/signaling. His group uses the model organisms Drosophila and Xenopus tropicalis.