Lewin Lab

Lewin Lab

Molecular Physiology of Somatic Sensation

Group leader

Gary is Manx and was born and grew up in Douglas on the Isle of Man. He received his first degree in Physiology and Pharmacology from Sheffield University in 1986, then worked on his doctoral thesis in Stephen B. McMahons lab at St. Thomas's Hospital Medical school in the Sherrington school of Physiology in London. He received his Ph.D. in February of 1990.

His doctoral work was chiefly concerned with the physiological consequences of confronting sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia with novel peripheral targets (Lewin and McMahon a,b,c).

From London he then moved to do post-doctoral work in the lab of Professor Lorne Mendell in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He worked in Lorne's lab for almost four years and in the last year he was appointed Research Assistant Professor. During this time he worked with his colleagues in Lorne's lab, notably Amy Ritter and Alain Rueff, to characterize the effects of NGF on the development of nociceptive neurons in the rat (Ritter et al. 1992; Lewin et al., 1992; Lewin et al., 1994; Lewin and Mendell, 1994; Lewin and Mendell, 1996).

In 1993 he received a von Humboldt Fellowship to work in the department of Neurobiochemistry at the Max-Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich under the directorship of Professor Yves-Alain Barde. In Munich he worked on various projects with his colleagues inside and outside the institute. These projects were mostly concerned with the effects of other members of the neurotrophin family, notably Neurotrophin-3 and Brain derived neurotophic factor (BDNF), on the development of physiologically defined subsets of chicken and mouse sensory neurons (see Ockel et al. 1996; Airaksinen et al. 1996; Koltzenburg and Lewin, 1997; Lewin and Barde, 1996).

In February of 1996 he took up an appointment as an independent Group Leader at the MDC in Berlin. The projects in his lab now focus more on the molecular basis of sensory neuron mechanotransduction as well as on the physiological role of the neurotrophins (see Research). In 2003 Gary obtained a joint appointment at the Charité University Medical Faculty as a full Professor.