Sebastian Werneburg, Ph.D.
I graduated from the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University Hannover, Germany in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. For my subsequent studies I chose to specialize in clinical research and received my Master of Science in Biomedicine in 2010 from the Hannover Medical School, Germany. Throughout these studies I acquired valuable additional research experiences and skills by working as research assistant at Prof. Dr. Rita Gerardy-Schahn’s department (Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Germany), where I analyzed posttranslational modifications controlling cellular interactions. In 2010, I began to further specialize in neurobiology and joined the Ph.D. Program ‘Systems Neuroscience’ at the Hannover Graduate School for Veterinary Pathobiology, Neuroinfectiology and Translational Medicine. In early 2015, I graduated from Prof. Dr. Herbert Hildebrandt’s lab, at the Hannover Medical School in Germany with my Dr. rer. nat. (PhD). My work focused on polysialic acid, a unique posttranslational modification of only very few proteins within the brain. I successfully identified and characterized novel protein carriers of polysialic acid in microglia and oligodendrocyte precursor cells and provided first insights in the biological implications. After that, I stayed for a short Postdoc in Prof. Hildebrandt’s lab to complement the work I initiated during my PhD, before I joined Dr. Schafer’s lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, USA as Postdoctoral Associate in September 2016. My current work aims to understand how microglia contribute to the modulation of synaptic connectivity at early stages in neurodegeneration. My work is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Grant: WE 6170/1-1).