AG Ryu

Head: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Soojin Ryu




Dr. Holger Beckmann, scientist
Dr. Luis Castillo, postdoc
Alex Cook, PhD student
Dr. Jatin Nagpal, postdoc

Research overview:
The Ryu group is interested in understanding how stress affects brain and behavior. One major goal is to identify novel molecular mechanism that contribute to reslience to stress-induced dysfunctions. For this purpose, the group has pioneered establishing a novel animal model to study stress response using zebrafish. The group possesses expertise in diverse methods using zebrafish including genetic, molecular, imaging and behavioral methods. 

Current research projects:

  • Identification of novel regulators that mediate the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis effects on behavior
  • Analysis of the effects of early life stress exposure on neural circuit structure and function
  • Establishment of resilience model using zebrafish and identification of molecular mechanisms that promote resilience

External collaboration partners:

  • Prof. Erin Schuman, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
  • Dr. Harald Janovjak, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
  • Dr. Johann Bollman, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany


  • German Research Foundation
  • German Ministry of Education and Research
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

 Key publications:

  • De Marco RM, Thiemann T, Groneberg AH, Herget U, Ryu S (2016) Optogenetically enhanced pituitary corticotroph cell activity post-stress onset causes rapid organizing effects on behavior. Nat Commun 7:12620.
  • Vom Berg-Maurer CM, Trivedi CA, Bollmann JH, De Marco RJ, Ryu S (2016) The severity of acute stress is represented by increased synchronous activity and recruitment of hypothalamic CRH neurons. J Neurosci 36:3350-62.
  • Gutierrez-Triana JA, Herget U, Castillo-Ramirez LA, Lutz M, Yeh CM, De Marco RJ, Ryu S (2015) Manipulation of interrenal cell function in developing zebrafish using genetically targeted ablation and an optogenetic tool. Endocrinology 156:3394-401.
  • Wolf A, Ryu S (2013) Specification of posterior hypothalamic neurons requires coordinated activities of Fezf2, Otp, Sim1a and Foxb1.2. Development 140: 1762-73.
  • Ryu S, Mahler J, Acampora D, Holzschuh J, Erhardt S, Simeone A, Driever W (2007) Orthopedia homeodomain protein is essential for diencephalic dopaminergic neuron development. Curr Biol 17: 873-80.