Zimmer Group

Manuel Zimmer (Group Leader)


PhD 2003, EMBL Heidelberg & MPI of Neurobiology Munich
Postdoctoral Research at UCSF & Rockefeller University
Group Leader at the IMP Vienna since 2010
Scientific CV in PDF format

PhD and PostDoc positions available!
Applicants please send an email to

The neural basis of behavior

One of the prime goals pursued by current neuroscientists is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how networks of neurons operate as a single brain to produce sensations, thoughts, and behavior. This is a challenging endeavor because of the sheer complexity of mammalian nervous systems. To address this problem, at our lab we study the nematode C. elegans, which is equipped with a simple and anatomically well defined nervous system of just 302 neurons. Specifically, we combine worm genetics, quantitative behavioral assays, novel functional imaging techniques, and theoretical modeling to elucidate the neural circuits that control locomotion and chemosensory behaviors.

Selected Publications

  • Hums, I., Riedl, J., Mende, F., Kato, S., Kaplan, HS., Latham, R., Sonntag, M., Traunmüller, L., Zimmer, M. (2016). Regulation of two motor patterns enables the gradual adjustment of locomotion strategy in Caenorhabditis elegans. Elife. 5 (abstract)
  • Kato, S., Kaplan, HS., Schrödel, T., Skora, S., Lindsay, TH., Yemini, E., Lockery, S., Zimmer, M. (2015). Global Brain Dynamics Embed the Motor Command Sequence of Caenorhabditis elegans. Cell. 163(3):656-69 (abstract)
  • Schrödel, T., Prevedel, R., Aumayr, K., Zimmer, M., Vaziri, A. (2013). Brain-wide 3D imaging of neuronal activity in Caenorhabditis elegans with sculpted light. Nat Methods. 10(10):1013-20 (abstract)
  • Zimmer, M., Gray, JM., Pokala, N., Chang, AJ., Karow, DS., Marletta, MA., Hudson, ML., Morton, DB., Chronis, N., Bargmann, CI. (2009). Neurons detect increases and decreases in oxygen levels using distinct guanylate cyclases. Neuron. 61(6):865-79 (abstract)
  • Chronis, N., Zimmer, M., Bargmann, CI. (2007). Microfluidics for in vivo imaging of neuronal and behavioral activity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nat Methods. 4(9):727-31 (abstract)