David Owald - PI

  • David wants to understand what goes on in one’s brain. For the moment he thinks his own and those of his friends are slightly beyond his reach so he studies fruit flies. He has identified crucial circuit elements of learning and memory and has participated in drawing up a circuit model at single cell resolution on how encoded information can actually steer a behaviour. He also is very keen to understand synapses and what goes on at these sites at a nanoscopic level. 


Eric Reynolds - PostDoc

  • Eric started his lab life working with zebra fish at NYU. He studied Medical Neurosciences in Berlin and completed a PhD thesis on synaptic physiology in Drosophila at the Freie Universität Berlin. He’s particularly interested in understanding structural changes in the mushroom body circuitry following learning.


Yi-chun Chen - PostDoc

  • Yi-chun worked on synaptic proteins and learning and memory in larval Drosophila at the University of Würzburg and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg. Her focus revolves around understanding synaptic ultrastructure during learning in the mushroom body.


Desiree Laber - PhD student

  • Desi joined the lab from Oxford. She completed an honours BSc in Neuroscience with Psychology from the University of Aberdeen and a Master’s degree in Psychology from Oxford Brookes University. Her research areas of interest are primarily the mechanisms of memory circuits in the behaving animal.


Raquel Suárez-Grimalt - PhD student (Einstein fellow)

  • Raquel joined our lab as a PhD student after her work on working memory potentiation in rats in the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Driven by her interest in understanding behavior and memory, she is currently studying the effects of cocaine on learning and the circuitry underlying slow-wave oscillations and sleep drive regulation in flies.


Marcel Heim - PhD student

  • Marcel wrote his Bachelor's thesis at the University of Kassel  investigating the correlation of locomotion of cockroaches and the neuronal characteristics of their circadian pacemaker center. He then continued with studies of biology at the FU Berlin and worked on his Master's thesis at Charité with us. He is especially interested in  signal integration of dopaminergic cells within the mushroom body circuitry.


Carlotta Pribbenow - MD/PhD student


  • Carlotta participated in national and international competitions for young scientist like “Jugend Forscht” and was trained as a biological technical assistant. Now she is a medical student at Charité and is currently doing her MD/PhD on principles of cholinergic single cell plasticity in vivo.


Felix Schick - MD student (BIH fellow)

  • Felix is a 5th year medical student at Charité and does his medical doctorate in the Owald lab. He investigates principles of neuronal filters in the drosophila brain using multineuron patch-clamp.


Carolin Rauch - Technician

  • Caro joined the lab from the Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin.  She worked there in the parasitology department on experimental genetics in the model rodent malaria system to study the roles of parasite and host genes in Plasmodium life cycle progression. She is now focussing on investigating the molecular underpinnings of synaptic rearrangements.


Silas Reubold - undergraduate student

  • Silas is a biology student at the Freie Universitaet Berlin -and neurobiology got his attention. Now he is working with us to investigate presynaptical plasticity of Kenyon cells during learning processes. He is looking into protein modulation throughout olfactory conditioning. 


Isabella Balles - undergraduate student

  • After graduating from a biotechnological high school, Isabella is now studying Biotechnology at TU Berlin. While enjoying all aspects of her studies, her preferred area is laboratory work which offers her insight and deeper understanding of research processes.


Lara Dreide - undergraduate student

  • Lara is a student at the FU Berlin, where she is studying biology. She is mainly interested in genetics and evolution and mostly enjoys working in the laboratory. For her Bachelor's thesis she studied DNA methylation differences in immune genes in cheetahs at the IZW Berlin.


Tania Fernández del Valle Alquicira - undergraduate student

  • Tania finished her Bachelor’s in Biology at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin and wrote her thesis at the cognitive neurobiology institute on the effects of central serotonin deregulation on decision-making. She  is currently a M. Sc. Student at the HU Berlin and pursues to focus on behavior and cognition. She is interested in the mechanisms involved in memory and decision-making processes.  


Gregor Lichtner - PostDoc (associated)

  • Gregor is interested in exploring the biology of memory consolidation in Drosophila using data-driven approaches. He focusses on the analyses of two-photon microscopy data using image analysis and data science methods. Gregor holds Master's degrees in Chemistry and Computer Science, a PhD in Medical Neurosciences/Psychology from FU Berlin. 


Davide Raccuglia - PostDoc (associated

  • During his PhD at the Saarland University, Davide worked on the interplay between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter inputs during olfactory learning in the honey bee. At the Yale School of medicine, Davide was part of the team that pioneered the use of genetically encoded voltage sensors in intact neural circuits. Combining this technique with optogenetics and behavior, he currently sets out to identify the fundamental electrophysiological principles that underly the creation of sensory gates for sleep regulation.