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Marlene Bartos


Principal Investigator in

Research Topics

  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic communication in interneuron networks in the hippocampus.
  • Functional role of inhibitory transmission for the generation of synchronous oscillatory activities in neuronal networks.


  • Electrophysiology: Single-cell or paired whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of synaptically connected neurons in acute hippocampal slice preparations or in slice cultures. Two-electrode dynamic-clamp recordings. In vitro sharp-electrode recordings. In vitro field-potential recordings.
  • Histology: Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence techniques for the visualization of single neurons and the detection of interneuron-specific markers such as C++-binding proteins and neuropeptides.




  • 1994: PhD Faculty of Biology / Technical University Munich/Institute for Zoology/Germany
  • 1991: Diploma Faculty of Life Sciences/University of Braunschweig/Institute for Zoology / Germany


Current Positions

  • Since 2015: Temporary Chair of the Institute for Physiology I / Systemic and Cellular Neuroscience Freiburg / University Freiburg Germany
  • Since 2010: Full Professor (W3); Faculty of Medicine / University of Freiburg / Institute for Physiology I, Systemic and Cellular Neuroscience Freiburg (SC-Freiburg)/Germany


Previous Positions

  • 2009-2010: Personal Chair
    Medical Faculty / University of Aberdeen / Institute for Medical Sciences / UK
  • 2007-2009: Associate Professor
    Medical Faculty / University of Aberdeen / Institute for Medical Sciences / UK
  • 1998-2006: Assistant Professor
    Faculty of Medicine / University of Freiburg / Institute for Physiology I / Germany
  • 1995-1998: Postdoctoral Fellow
    Faculty of Medicine / Department of Neuroscience / University of Pennsylvania / School of Medicine / USA


Fellowships and Awards

  • 2018: ERC Advanced Grant
  • 2009-2015: Lichtenberg Award / Volkswagen (VW) Foundation / Germany (1.9 Mil €)
  • 2012: Senior Fellow of the Excellence Initiative ‘Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies’ (FRIAS) / University of Freiburg / Germany
  • 2010: Best publications in 2010 by Faculty of Biology 2010; Sauer & Bartos J Neurosci
  • 2012-2015: Schram Award / Schram Foundation for basic Neuroscience / Germany (280.000 €)
  • 2012: Most cited review defined ‘Laborjournal’ 7:34; Bartos et al. Nat Rev Neurosci 2007
  • 1995-1997: Postdoctoral Fellowship from the German Science Foundation (‘Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft’ (DFG) / Germany
  • 1995: Price for ‘Young Investigators’ of the ‘International Society for Neuroethology’ / US
  • 1992-1995: Fellowship for Graduate Students of the ‘Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung’ / Germany


Institutional Responsibilities

  • Since 2014: Equal opportunity commissioner, University of Freiburg/Medical Faculty / Germany
  • Since 2013: Board member of the Medical Faculty Commission ‘Structural and Strategic Development of the Medical Faculty / University of Freiburg / Germany
  • Since 2012: Vicedirector ‘Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine’ (SGBM) funded by the German Excellence Initiative / University of Freiburg / Germany
  • Since 2010: Member of the Medical Faculty Committee, University of Freiburg / Germany
  • 2007-2010: Member of the Faculty Committee, University of Aberdeen/School of Medicine /UK


Commissions of Trust

  • Since 2014: Director of the International Research Unit FOR2143; ‘Synaptic plasticity in interneurons’ University Freiburg/Charité Berlin/University Kiel (Germany) / Institute for Science and Technology (IST) Austria
  • Since 2013: Director of the ‘European Neuroscience Institutes’ (ENINET) Freiburg / University of Freiburg / Germany
  • Since 2010: Scientific Advisory Board Member of ‘Neurex’ (Upper Rhine Valley Neuroscience Network) of the Universities Freiburg, Strasbourg, Basel
  • Since 2011: Editor, Frontiers/Switzerland
  • Since 2014: Editor, Journal e-life / UK and e-neuron / US
  • Since 2013: One two heads of the new Excellence Initiative ‘IMBIT’, Institute for Machine-Brain Interfacing Technology
  • 2011: Review panel, ‘German Science Foundation’ / Germany


Memberships of Scientific Societies

  • Since 1994: Member, ‘Society of Neuroscience (SFN)’/USA; ‘German Zoological Society’
  • Since 2011: Member, Excellence Initiative ‘Centre for biological signalling studies (bioss)’/
    and ‘Brain-Links-Brain-Tools’ (BLBT)/University of Freiburg/Germany
  • Since 2005: Member, ‘Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Freiburg’ (BCF)/ University Freiburg/Germany



  • Hainmüller T, Bartos M (2018) Parallel emergence of stable and dynamic memory engrams in the hippocampus. Nature 558:292-96.
  • Sauer JF, Strüber M, Bartos M (2018) Recording Spatially Restricted Oscillations in the Hippocampus of Behaving Mice. Jove-j Vis Exp doi:10.3791/57714.
  • Ziegler-Waldkirch S, Errico P, Sauer JF, Erny D, Savanthrapadian S, Loreth D, Katzmarski N, Blank T, Bartos M, Prinz M, Meyer-Luehmann M (2017) Seed-induced A-beta deposition is modulated by microglia under environmental enrichment. EMBO Journal, doi: 10.15252/embj.201797021.
  • Strüber M, Sauer JF, Jonas P, Bartos M (2017) Distance-dependent inhibition supports focality of gamma oscillations. (2017) Nature Commun. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00936-3.
  • Yuan M, Meyer T, Benkowitz C, Savanthrapadian S, Ansel-Bollepalli L, Foggetti A, Wulff P, Alcami P, Elgueta C, Bartos M (2017) Somatostatin-positive interneurons in the dentate gyrus of mice provide local- and long-range septal synaptic inhibition. eLife 2017;6 e21105
  • Biskamp J, Bartos M, Sauer JF (2017) Organization of prefrontal network activity by respiration-related oscillations. Sci Rep 7:45508
  • Janz P, Savathrapadian S, Häussler U, Kilias A, Nestel A, Kretz O, Kirsch M, Bartos M, Egert U, Haas C (2016) Synaptic remodeling of entorhinal input contributes to an aberrant hippocampal network in temporal lobe epilepsy. Cereb Cortex doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw093 
  • Sauer JF, Strüber M, Bartos M (2015) Impaired fast-spiking interneuron function in a genetic mouse model of depression. eLife 2015; doi:10.7554/eLife.04979
  • Elgueta C, Köhler J, Bartos M (2015) Persistent discharges in dentate gyrus perisoma-inhibiting interneurons require HCN channel activation. J Neurosci 35:4131-4139.
  • Strüber M, Jonas P, Bartos M (2015) Strength and duration of perisomatic GABAergic inhibition depend on distance between synaptically connected cells. PNAS USA 112:1220-1225.
  • Hainmüller T, Krieglstein K, Kulik A, Bartos M (2014) Joint CP-AMPA and group I mGlu receptor activation is required for synaptic plasticity in dentate gyrus fast-spiking interneurons. PNAS USA 111:13211-13216.
  • Savanthrapadian S, Meyer T, Elgueta C, Booker S, Vida I, Bartos M (2014) Synaptic properties of SOM- and CCK-expressing cells in dentate gyrus interneuron networks. J Neurosci 34:8197-8209.
  • Hosp JA, Strüber M, Yanagawa Y, Obata K, Vida I, Jonas P, Bartos M (2014) Morpho-physiological criteria divide dentate gyrus interneurons into classes. Hippocampus 24:189-203.
  • Mallmann RT, Elgueta C, Sleman F, Castonguay J, Wilmes T, van den Maagdenberg A, Klugbauer N (2013) Ablation of CaV2.1 voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in mouse forebrain generates multiple cognitive impairments. PLoS One 8(10):e78598. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078598.
  • Ho EC, Strüber M, Bartos M, Zhang L, Skinner FK (2012) Inhibitory networks of fast-spiking interneurons generate slow population activities due to fluctuations and network multistability. J Neurosci 32:9931-9946.
  • Bartos M, Elgueta C. (2012) Functional characteristics of parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing basket cells. J Physiol (Lond) 590:669-681.
  • Sauer J-F, Strüber M, Bartos M (2012) Interneurons provide circuit-specific depolarization and hyperpolarization. J Neurosci 32:4224-4229.
  • Murray AJ, Sauer J, Mcclure CJ, Cheyne LA, Riedel G, Bartos M, Wisden W, Wulff P (2011) Parvalbumin-positive hippocamapl interneurons are required for spatial working but not reference memory. Nat Neurosci 14:297-299.
  • Bartos M, Alle H, Vida I (2011) Role of microcircuit structure and input integration in hippocampal interneuron recruitment and plasticity. Neuropharmacol 60:730-739.
  • Sambandan S, Sauer JF, Vida I, Bartos M (2010) Associative plasticity at excitatory synapses facilitates recruitment of fast-spiking interneurons in the dentate gyrus. J Neurosci 30:11826-11837.
  • Nörenberg A, Hu H, Vida I, Bartos M, Jonas P (2010) Non-uniform cable properties optimize rapid signaling in fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons. PNAS USA 107:894-899.
  • Sauer J, Bartos M (2010) Efficient recruitment of young hippocampal interneurons by early excitatory GABAergic synapses. J Neurosci 30:110-115.
  • Wulff P, Ponomarenko AA, Bartos M, Krotkova TM, Fuchs EC, Tort MA, Kopell N, Wisden W, Monyer H (2009) Hippocampal theta rhythm and its coupling with gamma oscillations require fast inhibition onto parvalbumin positive interneurons. PNAS USA 106:3561-3566.
  • Doischer, D, Hosp, P, Yanagawa, Y, Obata, K, Jonas, P, Vida, I, Bartos, M (2008) Postnatal development of hippocampal basket cells from slow to fast signaling devices. J Neurosci 26:12956-12968.
  • Bartos M, Vida I, Jonas P (2007) Synaptic mechanisms of synchronized gamma oscillations in inhibitory interneuron networks. Nat Rev Neurosci 8:45-56.
  • Vida I, Bartos M, Jonas P (2006) Shunting inhibition improves robustness of gamma oscillations in hippocampal interneuron networks by homogenizing firing rates. Neuron 49:107-117 (equal contribution of the authors).
  • Bartos M, Vida I, Frotscher M, Meyer A, Monyer H, Geiger JRP, Jonas P (2002) Fast synaptic inhibition promotes synchronized gamma oscillations in hippocampal interneuron networks. PNAS USA 99:13222-13227.
  • Bartos M, Vida I, Frotscher M, Geiger JRP, Jonas P (2001) Rapid signaling at inhibitory synapses in a dentate gyrus interneuron network. J Neurosci 21:2687-2698.
  • Bartos M, Manor Y, Nadim F, Marder E, Nusbaum MP (1999) Coordination of fast and slow rhythmic neuronal circuits. J Neurosci 19:6650-6660.
  • Bartos M, Nusbaum MP (1997) Inter-circuit control of motor pattern modulation by presynaptic inhibition. J Neurosci 17:2247-2256.
  • Bartos M, Honegger H-W (1997) Impact of motor activity and antennal mechano-sensory input on the intensity of proctolin-like immunoreactivity in antennal motoneurons of crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus). J Comp Physiol A 181:59-70.
  • Honegger H-W, Bartos M, Gramm T, Gebhardt M (1995) Peripheral modulation and plasticity of antennal movements in crickets. Verh Dtsch Zool Ges 88.2:129-137.
  • Bartos M, Allgäuer C, Eckert M, Honegger H-W (1994) The antennal motor system of crickets: Proctolin in slow and fast motoneurons as revealed by double labeling. Eur J Neurosci 6:825-836.
  • Bartos M, Honegger H-W (1992) Complex innervation of three neck muscles by motor and dorsal unpaired median neurons in crickets. Cell Tissue Res 267:399-406.



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