RG Ryu

Head: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Soojin Ryu




Dr. Holger Beckmann, scientist
Dr. Jatin Nagpal, postdoc
Alexander Cook, PhD student
Tatjana Kuzenko, PhD student
Siyong Kim, PhD student

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 RJ, Thiemann T, Groneberg AH, Herget U, Ryu S (2016) Optogenetically enhanced pituitary corticotroph cell activity post-stress onset causes rapid organizing effects on behaviour. 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(11):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(9):3394-401.
  • De Marco RJ, Groneberg AH, Yeh CM, Castillo Ramírez LA, Ryu S (2013) Optogenetic elevation of endogenous glucocorticoid level in larval zebrafish. Front Neural Circuits 7:82.
  • Wolf A, Ryu S (2013) Specification of posterior hypothalamic neurons requires coordinated activities of Fezf2, Otp, Sim1a and Foxb1.2. Development 140(8):1762-73.