Thomas Mueller, Research Assistant Professor

Thomas Mueller

Contact information

340 Ackert Hall


Ph.D. 2003, University of Bremen. Developmental Neurobiology.

Area(s) of Specialization

Evolutionary and developmental neuroscience, brain atlases, forebrain evolution, neural circuits of emotion, amygdala-hypothalamic connectivity.
Not accepting graduate students

Research Focus

My lab uses zebrafish as a model to study the function, evolution and development of the amygdala and hypothalamus crucial for the expression of emotion, socio-emotional, and reproductive behaviors. In particular, we want to study how signaling molecules and gene regulatory networks orchestrate the proper forebrain development and how spatiotemporal shifts (heterochronies) of developmental events can alter the evolution of the brain. This way, we also want to understand how compromised development can lead to aberrant emotional behavior as present in human affective disorders like schizophrenia, spectrum autism- and fear and anxiety disorders.

Techniques: We apply in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry on brain sections in combination with confocal microscopy to analyze gene expression patterns and the distribution of neuronal phenotypes in developing and fully matured brains. To investigate the function of specific forebrain regions, we perform behavioral and tract tracing studies in combination with 3D reconstruction software and whole-mount imaging of the zebrafish brain.

Selected Publications

Fillipi A, Mueller T, and Driever W. 2014. Analysis of vGlut2a, Gad1/2, and Tyrosine Hydroxylase (TH) Expression Patterns reveals Dual Catecholaminergic Co-Transmitter Phenotypes in the Brain of the Teleost Zebrafish (Danio rerio). J. Comp. Neurol. 522(9): 2019-2037.

Haug M, Gesemann M, Mueller T, and Neuhauss S. 2013. Phylogeny and Expression Divergence of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Genes in the Brain of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). J. Comp. Neurol. 521(7): 1533-1560.

Olaf Ronneberger, Kun Liu, Meta Rath, Dominik Rueß, Thomas Mueller, Henrik Skibbe, Benjamin Drayer, Thorsten Schmidt, Alida Filippi, Roland Nitschke, Thomas Brox, Hans Burkhardt, Wolfgang Driever. 2012. ViBE-Z: A Framework for 3D Virtual Colocalization Analysis in Zebrafish Larval Brains. Nature Methods. 9(7): 735-742.

Mueller T, Dong Z, Berberoglu M, and Guo S. 2011. The Dorsal Pallium in the Zebrafish Danio rerio (Cyprinidae, Teleostei). Brain Res. 1381: 95-105.

Osorio J, Mueller T, Rétaux S, Vernier P, and Wullimann MF. 2010. Phylotypic Expression of the bHLH Genes neurogenin2, NeuroD and Mash1 in the Mouse Embryonic Forebrain. J. Comp. Neurol. 518(6): 851-871.

Mueller T and Guo S. 2009. The Distribution of GAD67-mRNA in the Adult Zebrafish (Teleost) Forebrain Reveals a Prosomeric Pattern and Suggests Previously Unidentified Homologies to Tetrapods. J. Comp. Neurol. 516(6): 553-568.

Berberoglu M, Dong Z, Mueller T, and Guo S. 2009. fezf2 Expression Delineates Cells with Proliferative Potential and Expressing Markers of Neural Stem Cells in the Adult Zebrafish Brain. Gene Expression Patterns. 9(6): 411-422.

View the complete publication list in PubMed