Professor of Physiology of Neuronal Networks


Physiology of Neuronal Networks
TU Kaiserslautern
Erwin-Schrödinger-Straße 13, Room 574
67663 Kaiserslautern

Tel.: +49 (0)631-205-4669

Email:  hirtz[at]
Profile: Google Scholar


Curriculum Vitae:

since 2022: Interim representation of the Animal Physiology Group, University of Kaiserslautern

since 2017: Junior Professor, Physiology of Neuronal Networks, University of Kaiserslautern

2016-2017: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Animal Physiology Group Prof. Eckhard Friauf, University of Kaiserslautern

2012-2016: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Laboratory Prof. Rafael Yuste, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

2008-2012: Doctoral studies and Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Animal Physiology Group Prof. Eckhard Friauf, University of Kaiserslautern

2003-2008: Study of Biology (Diploma), University of Kaiserslautern

Major Research Interests:

Our lab is interested in functional principles of neuronal circuits. We employ modern optical methods, including two-photon microscopy, allowing for activity imaging with high penetration depth and single cell resolution in living tissue. The main focus of our work is studying neuronal ensembles in the mouse auditory neocortex. Of particular interest are the effects of developmental aberrances in the auditory brainstem on the computation of the auditory cortex. We are also involved in the development of new analysis tools to decipher patterns in the complex data sets obtained by activity imaging.  research pages

Selected Publications:

Research articles:

Wadle SL, Schmitt TTX, Engel J, Kurt S, Hirtz JJ (2022) Altered population activity and local tuning heterogeneity in auditory cortex of Cacna2d3-deficient mice. Biol Chem. Online ahead of print.

Müller NIC, Sonntag M, Maraslioglu A, Hirtz JJ, Friauf E (2019) Topographic map refinement and synaptic strengthening of a sound localization circuit require spontaneous peripheral activity. J Physiol. Epub ahead of print.

Eitelmann S, Hirtz JJ, Stephan J (2019) A Vector-Based Method to Analyze the Topography of Glial Networks. Int J Mol Sci. 20:281.

de Boer WDAM, Hirtz JJ,Capretti A, Gregorkiewicz T, Izquierdo-Serra M, Han S, Dupre C, Shymkiv Y, Yuste R (2018) Neuronal photoactivation through second-harmonic nearinfrared absorption by gold nanoparticles, Light-Sci. Appl. 7:100.

Izquierdo-Serra M, Hirtz JJ, Shababo B, Yuste R (2018) Two-photon Optogenetic Mapping of Excitatory Synaptic Connectivity and Strength. iScience 8: 15-28.

Jayant K, Hirtz JJ, Plante IJ, Tsai DM, De Boer WDAM, Semonche A, Peterka DS, Owen JS, Sahin O, Shepard KL, Yuste R (2017) Targeted intracellular voltage recordings from dendritic spines using quantum-dot coated nano-pipettes. Nat Nanotechnol. 12: 335-342.

Izquierdo-Serra M, Gascón-Moya M, Hirtz JJ, Pittolo S, Poskanzer KE, Ferrer È, Alibés R, Busqué F, Yuste R, Hernando J, Gorostiza P (2014) Two-photon neuronal and astrocytic stimulation with azobenzene-based photoswitches. J Am Chem Soc. 136: 8693-701

Packer AM, Peterka DS, Hirtz JJ, Prakash R, Deisseroth K, Yuste R (2012) Two-photon optogenetics of dendritic spines and neural circuits. Nat Methods 9: 1202-5

Hirtz JJ, Braun N, Griesemer D, Hannes C, Janz K, Löhrke S, Müller B, Friauf E (2012) Synaptic refinement of an inhibitory topographic map in the auditory brainstem requires functional CaV1.3 calcium channels. J Neurosci 32: 14602-16

Hirtz JJ, Boesen M, Braun N, Deitmer JW, Kramer F, Lohr C, Müller B, Nothwang HG, Striessnig J, Löhrke S, Friauf E (2011) CaV1.3 calcium channels are required for normal development of the auditory brainstem. J Neurosci 31: 8280-94

Review Articles: 

Friauf E, Rust MB, Schulenborg T, Hirtz JJ (2011) Development of chloride homeostasis, chloride cotransporters, and synaptic inhibition in the auditory system. Hear Res. 279: 96-110