Günther K. H. Zupanc,
Ph.D., Dr. rer. nat. habil.

Room: 405 Mugar Life Sciences
Phone: 617-373-8592
E-mail: g.zupanc@neu.edu

Academic Education:

B.Sc., Biology, University of Regensburg, Germany (1982)

M.Sc., Biology, University of Regensburg, Germany (1985)

B.Sc., Physics, University of Regensburg, Germany (1987)

Ph.D., Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego (1990)

Dr. rer. nat. habil., Animal Physiology, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany (1995)

Professional Appointments:

Research Assistant, University of California, San Diego (1988-1990)

Research Biologist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla (1990-1992)

Hermann-von-Helmholtz Fellow and Junior Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany (1992-1997)

Visiting Professor, University of Ottawa, Canada (1994-1997)

Privatdozent (equivalent to Adjunct Associate Professor), Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany (1995-1997)

Lecturer (equivalent to Assistant Professor), University of Manchester, UK (1997-1999)

Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor), University of Manchester, UK (1999-2002)

Professor of Neurobiology, International University Bremen/Jacobs University Bremen, Germany (2002-2009)

Professor (2009-) and Chair (2009-2012), Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Other Professional Activities:

Visiting Scholar: Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA; University of Ottawa, Canada; University of California, San Diego; University of Chicago; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA; Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology, Seewiesen, Germany; Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA; Tufts University, Boston, MA

Editor: Journal of Zoology (2007-2011); Journal of Comparative Physiology-A (2008-)

Editorial Board: Brain, Behavior and Evolution (2005-2009); Regenerative Medicine (2005-); Journal of Comparative Physiology-A (2006-2008); Journal of Neurorestoratology (2013-)

Teaching Activities:

I have been involved in teaching at the University of California, San Diego; the University of Tübingen (Germany); the University of Manchester (UK); the International University Bremen/Jacobs University Bremen (Germany); and Northeastern University. These teaching activities have included lecture courses, laboratory classes, and/or field courses in the areas of Behavioral Neurobiology, Systems Neurobiology, Cellular Neurobiology, Developmental Neurobiology, Neuroendocrinology, Animal Physiology, Ecology, and Marine Biology. My book Behavioral Neurobiology: An Integrative Approach (Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York, 2004 and 2010) is currently the most frequently adopted text in neuroethology worldwide.

Research Interests:

My current research interests focus on the exploration of neuronal mechanisms underlying structural plasticity in the adult central nervous system of vertebrates. In collaboration with my colleagues in the lab, I study the generation of new neurons in the adult brain and spinal cord (‘adult neurogenesis’) and the replacement of neurons lost to injury by newly generated ones (‘neuronal regeneration’).

Our investigations are carried out in teleost fish. These vertebrates exhibit an enormous ability to generate new neuron in both the intact and the injured central nervous system during adulthood. This contrasts with mammals, which show only a very limited potential to generate adult-born neurons. By combining cellular, neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and behavioral approaches, we attempt to identify key mechanisms underlying the production of new neurons in both the intact and the injured central nervous system of teleost fish, and to learn more about the behavioral significance of these phenomena.

The ultimate goal of our research is to understand the evolutionary factors that have led to the enormous reduction of neurogenic potential in mammals, while maintaining the generation of new neurons at high levels in the central nervous system of teleost fish. Such a comparative approach not only is instrumental in gaining a biological understanding of adult neurogenesis, but also bears an enormous potential to open new vistas for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to replace neurons lost to injury or degenerative disease by newly generated ones.

Other Interests:

Outside the lab, I enjoy spending time with my family and ‘Cooper’, our Golden Retriever. My hobbies include hiking, swimming, gardening, photography, classical music, impressionism, history, and topics related to science and society.

Selected Review Publications:

Zupanc, G.K.H.: From oscillators to modulators: behavioral and neural control of modulations of the electric organ discharge in the gymnotiform fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus. Journal of Physiology (Paris) 96, 459-472 (2002), doi:10.1016/S0928-4257(03)00002-0

Zupanc, G.K.H., Bullock, T.H.: From electrogenesis to electroreception: an overview. In: Bullock, T.H., Hopkins, C.D., Popper, A.N., Fay, R.R. (eds.), Electroreception, pp. 5-46. Series: Springer Handbook of Auditory Research. Series Editors: Fay, R.R., Popper, A.N. Springer-Verlag, New York (2005), doi:10.1007/0-387-28275-0_2

Zupanc, G.K.H., Zupanc, M.M.: New neurons for the injured brain: mechanisms of neuronal regeneration in adult teleost fish. Regenerative Medicine 1, 207-216 (2006), doi:10.2217/17460751.1.2.207

Zupanc, G.K.H.: Neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in the adult fish brain. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 192, 649-670 (2006), doi:10.1007/s00359-006-0104-y

Zupanc, G.K.H.: Chapter 2.24: Adult neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in the teleost fish brain: implication for the evolution of a primitive vertebrate trait. In: Bullock, T.H., Rubenstein, L.R. (eds.), The Evolution of Nervous Systems in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates, pp. 485-520. Series: Evolution of Nervous Systems,Volume 2. Series Editor: Kaas, J.H. Academic Press, Oxford (2006)

Zupanc, G.K.H.: Adult neurogenesis in teleost fish. In: Gage, F.H., Kempermann, G., Song, H., (eds.), Adult Neurogenesis, pp. 571-592. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor/New York (2008)

Stocum, D.L., Zupanc, G.K.H.: Stretching the limits: stem cells in regeneration science. Developmental Dynamics 237, 3648-3671 (2008), doi:10.1002/dvdy.21774

Zupanc, G.K.H.: Adult neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in the brain of teleost fish. Journal of Physiology (Paris) 102, 357-373 (2008), doi:10.1016/j.jphysparis.2008.10.007

Zupanc, G.K.H.: Electrocommunication. In: Squire, L.R. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Volume 3, pp. 839-848. Academic Press, Oxford (2009)

Zupanc, G.K.H.: Towards brain repair: insights from teleost fish. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 20, 683-690 (2009), doi:10.1016/j.semcdb.2008.12.001

Zupanc, G.K.H., Zupanc, M.M.: Proteomic analysis of CNS injury and recovery. In: Clelland, J.D. (ed.), Genomics, Proteomics, and the Nervous System, pp. 511-536. Series: Advances in Neurobiology, Volume 2. Springer-Verlag, New York (2011), doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-7197-5_20

Sîrbulescu, R.F., Zupanc, G.K.H.: Spinal cord repair in regeneration-competent vertebrates: adult teleost fish as a model system. Brain Research Reviews 67, 73-93 (2011), doi:10.1016/j.brainresrev.2010.11.001

Zupanc, G.K.H.: Adult neurogenesis in teleost fish. In: Seki, T., Sawamoto, K., Parent, J.M., Alvarez-Buylla, A. (eds.), Neurogenesis in the Adult Brain I, pp. 137-168. Springer-Verlag, Tokyo (2011), URL: http://cshmonographs.org/index.php/monographs/article/view/3088

Zupanc, G.K.H., Sîrbulescu, R.F.: Adult neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in the central nervous system of teleost fish. European Journal of Neuroscience 34, 917-929 (2011), doi:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07854.x

Zupanc, G.K.H., Sîrbulescu, R.F.: Teleost fish as a model system to study successful regeneration of the central nervous system. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 367, 193-233 (2013), doi:10.1007/82_2012_297

Sîrbulescu, R.F., Zupanc, G.K.H.: Neuronal regeneration. In: Evans, D.H., Claiborne, J.B., Currie, S. (eds.), The Physiology of Fishes, Fourth Edition, pp. 405-441. CRC Press, Boca Raton (2013)

Zupanc, G.K.H., Sîrbulescu, R.F.: Cell replacement therapy: lessons from teleost fish. Experimental Neurology 263, 272-276 (2015), doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.10.006

Zupanc, G.K.H., Stocum, D.L.: Regeneration science needs to broaden its focus to understand why some organisms can regenerate – and others not. Regenerative Medicine 10, 801-803 (2015), doi:10.2217/rme.15.53

Find my publications on PubMed