RNA Editing and Hyperexcitability Disorders

Gentransfer-hippocampal neurons-1 copy2

Brief Biography

In June 2000, the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France) conferred the doctorate in neurosciences (summa cum laude) on Jochen C. Meier. The work presented in his doctoral dissertation headed ‘Cell surface insertion of glycine receptor and dynamics of its trapping by gephyrin in cultured neurons‘ was performed in the laboratory of Professor Antoine Triller at the École Normale Supérieure. From 2000 to 2006, he studied glycine and GABA type A receptors and molecular mechanisms of synapse formation in the laboratory of Professor Rosemarie Grantyn, for what he was awarded the Venia Docendi et Legendi in physiology, medicine (Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany). In 2006, he was awarded a Helmholtz-University-Research-Group fellowship to study glycine receptor RNA editing at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (Berlin). In 2007, Jochen Meier was appointed juniorprofessor by the medical faculty of the Charité. He joined the editorial board of European Journal of Neuroscience in 2008, and since January 2010 he is chief editor of Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. He edited a Frontiers E-book in 2010 and contributed book chapters to The Superior Colliculus (Hall WC & Moschovakis A, eds), Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptogenesis (Dityatev A & El-Husseini A, eds), and Homeostatic Control of Brain Function (Boison D & Masino SA, eds) in 2003, 2006, and 2015, respectively. For further information see Curriculum Vitae and List of Publications.

He is member of the German Neuroscience Society and the International Society for Neurochemistry. Recently, he was invited to join the Expert Panel Public Health of the European Society for Translational Medicine.


Editorial Boards

2010 -             Chief Editor
                      Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience       
2010 -             Associate Editor
                      Frontiers in Neuroscience
2008 -             Associate Editor
                      Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience      
2008 -             Scientific Review Associate
                      European Journal of Neuroscience


Honors & Awards

2013    List position 2, Professor (W2) for Systemic Neurophysiology
           University of Mainz, Germany

2013    Chief Editor Award       
           Frontiers Research Foundation, Lausanne, Switzerland

2012    Teaching Award, 1. Prize                 
           International MD-PhD program Medical Neurosciences
           Charité Berlin, Germany

2010    Outstanding joint mid-term evaluation by Charité
           and MDC faculties of the W1 professorship

2009    Associate Editor Award       
           Frontiers Research Foundation, Lausanne, Switzerland

2009    List position 2, Professor (W2) for Cellular Neurophysiology
           University of Mainz, Germany

2007    List position 1, Professor (W1) for Molecular Neurophysiology
           Charité Berlin, Germany

2006    Teaching Award, 2. Prize                 
           International MD-PhD program Medical Neurosciences
           Charité Berlin, Germany

1999    Doctorate scholarship, French Government, CIES (1 year)

1998    Doctorate scholarship, NATO, DAAD (1 year)

1996    Doctorate scholarship Kekulé
           Foundation of the Chemical Industry VCI (2 years)


Honors & Awards to Members of my Group

2012    Poster Prize (3. Prize) to PhD student Aline Winkelmann
           Final Symposium of the SFB-Transregio 3
           Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsies, Bonn

2011    MDC postdoctoral fellowship to Dr. Benjamin Förstera       

2010    MDC postdoctoral fellowship to Dr. Sabrina Eichler

2010    Travel stipend FENS to Dr. Sabrina Eichler

2009    Poster Prize (1. Prize) to PhD student Benjamin Förstera
           20th European Students Conference, Berlin


Excitation / Inhibition Control -
Plasticity of Post-transcriptional Processing in Disease

Homeostatic regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the brain – also known as E-I balance – is essential for normal brain function, and dysregulation of this balance ultimately causes disease. A core aspect of the work concerns the study of the brain at the molecular level, by investigating a post-transcriptional enzymatic process known in research as “RNA editing”. Thereby, after the DNA text of the genes has been transcribed into RNA, individual letters are replaced with others by enzymatic processing. As a result, the original genetic text no longer corresponds exactly to the resulting protein text. By this means, the cell succeeds in disregarding the information coded in the genome, and through specific alterations can give its own genetic text a completely different meaning. The number of identified RNA editing sites in humans is steadily increasing, and the Meier lab is searching for such sites in the nervous system in order to find out what role they play in neurodegenerative disease, such as temporal lobe epilepsy, and psychiatric disorders. RNA splicing is another mechanism that increases functional diversity of gene products. In this connection, he is more closely scrutinizing the glycine receptor, one of the neuronal neurotransmitter receptors that can inhibit or excite neurons in the brain, and current research projects furthermore include GABA type A receptors and the postsynaptic scaffolding protein gephyrin. Aim of his studies is to identify mechanisms that regulate RNA processing of the aforementioned gene products in patients with epilepsy, and to determine functional consequences of the identified RNA variants on synaptic transmission, bidirectional synaptic plasticity, network excitability, cognitive function, learning & memory, and mood-related behavior. A better understanding of molecular, cellular and network mechanisms and knowledge of how they intersect will provide a basis for the development of genuine therapies that, hopefully, tackle the disease at the root. 


Selected oral presentations

2014     52th Meeting, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Epileptologie
            Bonn, Germany, May 14-17

2013     19th Spring Hippocampal Research Conference
            Taormina, Sicily, Italy, June 09-14

2013     10th Göttingen Meeting, Neurowissenschaftliche Gesellschaft e.V.
            Göttingen, Germany, March 13-16

2013     2nd Chexbres Meeting GABAergic synapse plasticity
            Chexbres, Switzerland, February 27 - March 01

2010     22nd Winter Conference Neural Plasticity
            Aruba, Caribbean, February 06-13

2009     International Conference The Glycine System
            Hasselt, Belgium, January 26-27

2007     1st Chexbres Meeting Gephyrin: where do we stand, where do we go?
            Chexbres, Switzerland, September 09-11

2007     DFG GRK1123 Annual Spring Symposium
            Berlin, Germany, May 14, 2007

2004     DFG GRK238 Final Symposium
            Berlin, Germany, November 25-26                      



International MD-PhD program Molecular Neurobiology, MDC

International MD-PhD program Medical Neurosciences, Charité

Medicine regular degree program, Charité

Ringvorlesung RNA Biology, Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) & MDC

As of today, Jochen Meier was teaching more than 1,700 hours in the field of physiology at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, i.e. in the regular degree program of medicine, in the interdisciplinary reformed degree program of medicine and in the Modellstudiengang Medizin. His teaching performance in the regular degree programme of medicine was evaluated +1.33 (max.: +2.0; min.: -2.0).

Furthermore, he is involved in the international degree programs of Medical Neurosciences (Charité) and Molecular Neurobiology (MDC Berlin). In 2006 and 2012, the students of the Medical Neuroscience programme awarded him twice the Teaching Award (2. and 1. Prize, respectively).

Lectures & Seminars

•    Seminars in Physiology 
      Regelstudiengang Medizin, Charité

•    Practical courses in Physiology
      Regelstudiengang Medizin, Charité

•    Seminar Das ZNS bei psychiatrischen Erkrankungen
      Regelstudiengang Medizin, Charité

•    Seminar Haut
      Reformstudiengang Medizin (interdisciplinary), Charité

•    Seminar Auge
      Reformstudiengang Medizin (interdisciplinary), Charité

•    Seminar Ohr
      Reformstudiengang Medizin (interdisciplinary), Charité

•    Seminar Ionenkanäle
      Modellstudiengang Medizin, Charité

•    Seminar Inhibition & Exzitation
      Modellstudiengang Medizin, Charité

•    Seminar Varianten & Determinanten der AP-Ausbreitung
      Modellstudiengang Medizin, Charité

•    Seminar Synaptische Übertragung
      Modellstudiengang Medizin, Charité

•    Seminar Die neuronale Organisation von Wachheit
      Modellstudiengang Medizin, Charité

•    Lecture on Channelopathies, international MD-PhD program
      Medical Neurosciences, Charité Berlin

•    Lecture on Learning & Memory
      International MD-PhD program Molecular Neurobiology, MDC

•    Lecture on Anatomy of the Nervous System
      International MD-PhD program Molecular Neurobiology, MDC

•    Lecture on Hyperexcitability Disorders, MDC PhD lecture, MDC

•    Lecture on RNA Editing & Hyperexcitability Disorders
      MDC Lunchtime Seminar, MDC

•    Lecture on RNA Processing in Neurobiology of Epilepsy,
      Ringvorlesung RNA Biology, BIMSB & MDC

Scientific network

National partners:

Berlin: Tengis Gloveli, Imre Vida, Victor Tarabykin, Uwe Heinemann, Michael Fähling, Michael Synowitz, Martin Holtkamp, Christoph Dehnicke, Ulf Schneider, Erich Wanker, Helmut Kettenmann, Jens Kurreck, Oliver Seitz

Bochum: Günter Gisselmann, Hanns Hatt

Erlangen: Daniel Gilbert

Freiburg: Carola Haas, Akos Kulik

Köln: Günter Schwarz

Magdeburg: Oliver Stork

International partners:

Australia, Brisbane: Joseph Lynch, Robert J Capon

Belgium, Hasselt & Leuven: Jean-Michel Rigo, Marcel Ameloot, Johan Hofkens

China, Shanghai: Tian-le Xu

Chile, Concepción: Luis Aguayo

Finland, Helsinki: Kai Kaila

France, Paris: Pascal Legendre, Richard Miles, Catalina Betancur

Israel, Tel HaShomer & Tel Aviv: Nicola Maggio, Gideon Rechavi,

Japan, Kyoto: Yoshinori Marunaka, Ken-ichi Nakajima

Switzerland, Zürich: Jean-Marc Fritschy

USA, UCLA & Stanford University: Peter Wend, Karl Deisseroth, Jin Billy Li



DFG Sachbeihilfe

DFG SFB-Transregio 3

Helmholtz Association


Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)