Arthur Konnerth

Prof. Dr. med

Hertie Senior Research Professorship of Neuroscience
former Friedrich Schiedel Chair of Neuroscience
TUM School of Medicine and Health

born September 23, 1953



Professor Arthur Konnerth is known for his pioneering research on the molecular and cellular basis of brain function. His focus is on memory function and its disorders, such as in Alzheimer's disease. Especially with his further development and application of two-photon microscopy, which enables dynamic recording of the activity of individual neurons, Prof. Konnerth has significantly shaped modern research on plasticity, development and function of neuronal connections in the brain.

After studying medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU), Prof. Konnerth obtained his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Psychiatry in Munich in 1983. His further stations included the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, where he headed the Research Group for Cellular Neurophysiology from 1989, after his habilitation at TUM in 1987. In 1993 he followed the call of the Saarland University as a professor in Homburg/Saar and in 1999 the call of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He has held the endowed Friedrich Schiedel Chair for Neurosciences at TUM since 2005 and was thus also the founding director of the TUM Institute of Neurosciences, which was established in 2006.

Prof. Konnerth laid the foundation for his research success back in 1999 and 2000 at TUM, for which the German Research Foundation awarded him the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2001. His numerous other awards also include the prestigious Brain Prize 2015 from the Danish Lundbeck Foundation. Prof. Konnerth is a member of the National Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina, the Academia Europaea and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, among others. The renowned neuroscientist was awarded with the honorary title of TUM Emeritus of Excellence in October 2022. Since 2017, Prof. Konnerth has been continuing his high-profile research at TUM at the endowed Hertie Senior Research Chair for Neurosciences, now also beyond his official retirement.


Short biography

1975 - 1981 Study of Medicine, LMU Munich
1983 Doctorate, LMU Munich
1978 - 1984 Docdoral student and research assistant, MPI for Psychiatry, Munich
1984 - 1985 Feodor Lynen Fellow of the Humboldt Foundation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,
Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole/USA
1986 - 1992 Scientific assistant, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen;
Head of the Research Group for Cellular Neurophysiology (since 1989)
1987 Habilitation, TUM
1993 - 1999 Professor, Institute for Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Saarland University, Homburg/Saar
Vice President (1997 - 1999)
1999 - 2000 Full Professor, Institute for Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, TUM
2000 - 2004 Full Professor, Institute for Cell Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, LMU Munich
2005 - 2017 Full Professor, Friedrich Schiedel Chair for Neurosciences and
Director of the TUM Institute of Neuroscience (since 2006)
since 2017 Hertie Senior Research Chair for Neurosciences, TUM


Memberships and honors

Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (since 2011)

Member of the Academia Europaea (since 2004)

Member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (since 2002)

Numerous other memberships in scientific societies and committees (including the German Research Foundation DFG, TUM Institute for Advanced Study, MPI Biophysics, School of Biological Sciences/Cardiff University UK, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation)



  • TUM Emeritus of Excellence (2022)
  • Senior Research Professorship of the non-profit Hertie Foundation (2017)
  • The Brain Prize, Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize (2015)
  • Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (2012)
  • Carl-von-Linde Fellow at the TUM Institute for Advanced Study (2007)
  • Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medal of the TUM (2006)
  • Max Planck Research Prize (2001)
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation DFG (2001)
  • Feldberg Prize of the Foundation for Anglo-German Scientific Exchange (1997)

You can download "Explanations of honors and awards" here [PDF 215 KB]


Key publications

Zott B, Simon MM, Hong W, Unger F, Chen-Engerer HJ, Frosch MP, Sakmann B, Walsh DM and Konnerth A: “A vicious cycle of amyloid β-dependent neuronal hyperactivation”. Science. 2019; 365: 559–565. Abstract

Chen X, Leischner U, Rochefort NL, Nelken I and Konnerth A: “Functional mapping of single spines in cortical neurons in vivo”. Nature. 2011; 475 (7357): 501-505. Abstract

Jia H, Rochefort N, Chen X, Konnerth A: “Dendritic organization of sensory input to cortical neurons in vivo”. Nature. 2010; 464: 1307-1312. Abstract

Busche MA, Eichhoff G, Adelsberger H, Abramowski D, Wiederhold KH, Haass C, Staufenbiel M, Konnerth A, Garaschuk O: “Clusters of hyperactive neurons near amyloid plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease”. Science. 2008; 321: 1686-1689. Abstract

Takechi H, Eilers J, Konnerth A: “A new class of synaptic response involving calcium release in dendritic spines”. Nature. 1998; 396: 757-760. Abstract