Kerstin Lenk

Kerstin Lenk
Graz University of Technology | TU Graz · Institute of Neural Engineering

Dr. rer. nat.
Assistant Professor at TU Graz

About

50
Publications
3,881
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201
Citations
Introduction
I am an Assistant Professor in Computational Gliosciences. Previously, I got an Academy of Finland Postdoc position and worked at Tampere University of Technology, Finland. My research is on Computational Neuroscience, Data Mining, Bioinformatics, Natural Science, Engineering and Medicine, and Artificial Neural Network. My specific interest is on the function of astrocytes in the human brain.
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - March 2020
Tampere University - former Tampere University of Technology
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Project: Simulation of local calcium dynamics in human single cell astrocytes and neuron-astrocyte networks Funded by the Academy of Finland for the period 2018-2021
July 2018 - August 2018
Tampere University of Technology
Position
  • PostDoc Position
December 2016 - June 2018
Technische Universität Dresden
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2012 - November 2016
Technische Universität Clausthal
Field of study
  • Computer Science
September 2005 - August 2009
Lausitz University of Applied Sciences
Field of study
  • Camputer Science

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
Astrocytes and neurons respond to each other by releasing transmitters, such as γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate, that modulate the synaptic transmission and electrochemical behavior of both cell types. Astrocytes also maintain neuronal homeostasis by clearing neurotransmitters from the extracellular space. These astrocytic actions are alte...
Article
Full-text available
According to the tripartite synapse model, astrocytes have a modulatory effect on neuronal signal transmission. More recently, astrocyte malfunction has been associated with psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. Several hypotheses have been proposed on the pathological mechanisms of astrocytes in schizophrenia. For example, post-mortem examin...
Article
Molecular communications (MC) broadly defines information exchange using (bio-)chemical signals over multiple scales. The research in this area addresses various fields where MC plays an important role. Notable examples include 1) the modeling of living systems, which aims to gain new insights into biological systems; 2) their interface with the ou...
Article
Full-text available
a prominent glial cell type in the brain – form networks that tightly interact with the brain’s neuronal circuits. Thus, it is essential to study the modes of such interaction if we aim to understand how neural circuits process information. Thereby, calcium elevations, the primary signal in astrocytes, propagate to the adjacent neighboring cells an...
Conference Paper
Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is a slowly propagating wave of depolarization of brain cells, followed by temporary silenced electrical brain activity. Major structural changes during CSD are linked to neuronal and possibly glial swelling. However, basic questions still remain unanswered. In particular, there are open questions regarding wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Der Beirat des Wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses (GI-WiN) der Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) fordert und empfiehlt Maßnahmen zur Verbesserung der Lage von Promovierenden sowie Postdoktoranden und Postdoktorandinnen in der Informatik und anderen Technikwissenschaften. Promovierende sowie Postdoktoranden und Postdoktorandinnen im Berei...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research in neuroscience indicates the importance of tripartite synapses and gliotransmission mediated by astrocytes in neuronal system modulation. Although the astrocyte and neuronal network functions are interrelated, they are fundamentally different in their signaling patterns and, possibly, the time scales at which they operate. However,...
Conference Paper
Astrocytes cover a plethora of roles supporting neurons in their maturation and regulating the concentrations of several ions and neurotransmitters. Moreover, astrocytes dysfunctions are, nowadays, suspected to have important implication in several brain diseases, as for example in epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. The astrocytes themselves are for...
Article
Human astrocytes differ dramatically in cell morphology and gene expression from murine astrocytes. The latter are well known to be of major importance in the formation of neuronal networks by promoting synapse maturation. However, whether human astrocyte lineage cells have a similar role in network formation has not been firmly established. Here,...
Data
Table S6. Luciferase Assay Raw Data and Final Calculated Luciferase Activity, Related to Figure 4
Data
Table S9. List of High-Probability Targets with Peak Score from AGO2-IP, Differential Expression Analysis (DESeq2), Normalized mRNA Counts from Pre-AGO2-RIP (IN), Mean, and Gene Information, Related to Figure 4
Data
Table S10. Raw miRNA Counts from sRNA-Seq Pre (IN) and Post (IP) AGO2-RIP for WT and ΔmiR-124 (KO) for 0 dpi and 4 dpi, Related to Figure 5
Data
Table S11. Raw miRNA Counts from nCounter for WT and ΔmiR-124 (KO), 0 dpi, and 4 dpi, Related to Figure 5
Data
Table S14. Raw Counts from RNA-Seq Data for WT, ΔmiR-124 (miR124KO), and ZNF787 Overexpression (ZNF787OE) at 4 dpi, n = 3, Related to Figure 6
Data
Table S8. Differential Peak Signal from AGO2-RIP, WT to ΔmiR-124, at 4 dpi, for Transcripts in WT Cells, Related to Figure 4
Data
Table S7. Raw mRNA Counts from RNA-Seq Pre (IN) and Post (IP) AGO2-RIP for WT and ΔmiR-124, n = 3, Related to Figure 4
Data
Table S13. Raw Counts from WT and ΔmiR-124 (KO) for 7 dpi and 14 dpi, n = 3, Related to Figures S3 and S4 and STAR Methods
Data
Table S15. Network Analysis Using Time Course Data from WT and ΔmiR-124 (KO), 0 dpi to 4 dpi, n = 7, Related to Figure 6
Data
Table S12. Raw Counts from Time Course Data for WT and ΔmiR-124 (KO) for 0 dpi to 4 dpi, n = 7, Related to Figures 3 and 6
Article
Full-text available
Non-coding RNAs regulate many biological processes including neurogenesis. The brain-enriched miR-124 has been assigned as a key player of neuronal differentiation via its complex but little understood regulation of thousands of annotated targets. To systematically chart its regulatory functions, we used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to disrupt all six...
Conference Paper
In the last two decades, astrocytes have gained more interest due to the realization that they are involved not only in information processing and memory formation but are also linked with several neurodegenerative disorders and brain diseases. Communicating indirectly with synapses via released gliotransmitters such as glutamate, astrocytes take p...
Article
Full-text available
Neuronal networks are often characterized by their spiking and bursting statistics. Previously, we introduced an adaptive burst analysis method which enhances the analysis power for neuronal networks with highly varying firing dynamics. The adaptation is based on single channels analyzing each element of a network separately. Such kind of analysis...
Article
Full-text available
Background Measures of spike train synchrony are widely used in both experimental and computational neuroscience. Time-scale independent and parameter-free measures, such as the ISI-distance, the SPIKE-distance and SPIKE-synchronization, are preferable to time scale parametric measures, since by adapting to the local firing rate they take into acco...
Article
The idea that astrocytes may be active partners in synaptic information processing has recently emerged from abundant experimental reports. Because of their spatial proximity to neurons and their bidirectional communication with them, astrocytes are now considered as an important third element of the synapse. Astrocytes integrate and process synapt...
Article
Full-text available
Synchrony and asynchrony are essential aspects of the functioning of interconnected neuronal cells and networks. New information on neuronal synchronization can be expected to aid in understanding these systems. Synchronization provides insight in the functional connectivity and the spatial distribution of the information processing in the networks...
Article
Full-text available
Background Microelectrode array (MEA) is a widely used technique to study for example the functional properties of neuronal networks derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC-NN). With hESC-NN, we can investigate the earliest developmental stages of neuronal network formation in the human brain. Methods In this paper, we propose an in silico mo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Is it possible to compute cognitive tasks with in-vitro neuronal networks (bioNNs) cultured on Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs)? This paper addresses this question by proposing a computational model based on network behaviour observed on MEAs. This network is stimulated with images for handwritten digit recognition.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Neural activity is based on bi-directional neuron-astrocyte signaling. Astrocytic network takes part in the neuronal activity by propagating waves of calcium ions, both within and between, the astrocytes. Calcium wave dynamics which excite the astrocytic communication is quite complex and there is a need to delve in deeper to understand the astrocy...
Conference Paper
Astrocytes actively influence the behavior of the surrounding neuronal network including changes of the synaptic plasticity and neuronal excitability. These dynamics are altered in diseases like Alzheimer's, where the release of the gliotransmitter GABA is increased by affected, so called reactive astrocytes. In this paper, we aim to simulate a neu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Neuronal networks are often studied in vitro using micro-electrode arrays (MEAs), where neurons are cultured on top of an electrode grid, and the action potentials can be recorded. This way the electrical activity of the network can be inspected at multiple locations simultaneously, which enables the studying of network behavior. A typical MEA has...
Conference Paper
Acknowledgements Lenk, K. (2011). “A Simple Phenomenological Neuronal Model with Inhibitory and Excitatory Synapses,” in Advances in Nonlinear Speech Processing, ed. Travieso-González, C. M. and Alonso-Hernández, J. B. 232-238. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-25020-0_30 Gewaltig, M.-O. and Diesmann, M. (2007). NEST (NEural Simulation Tool). Scholarpedia, 2...
Conference Paper
We develop a simple model which simulates neuronal activity as observed in a neuronal network cultivated on a multielectrode array neurochip. The model is based on an inhomogeneous Poisson process to simulate neurons which are active without external input or stimulus as observed in neurochip experiments. Spike train statistics are applied to valid...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our aim is to develop a simple model which is suitable to simulate concentration-response curves as observed in in-vitro experiments with multielectrode array (MEA) neurochips. In an in-vitro experiment approximately 10.000 neurons of the frontal cortex of embryonic mice [1] are cultivated on a MEA neurochip [2]. Neuro-active substances like bicucu...
Article
Our aim is to design a model which demonstrates inhibitory and excitatory effects as observed in a neuronal network cultivated on a multielectrode array (MEA) neurochip. 1 Background 1.1 Experimental background A mouse has four millions of cortical neurons [1]. In an in-vitro experiment approximately 10.000 neurons of the frontal cortex of embryoni...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Genetically engineer human induced pluripotent stem cells for on-demand optogenetic activation/inhibition in differentiated neurons and investigate human neuronal network connectivity
Project
www.embec2017.org The joint conference of the European Medical and Biological Engineering Conference (EMBEC) and the Nordic-Baltic Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics (NBC), in Tampere, Finland, in June 2017. These two long running conferences are now combined for the first time with aim to build a truly cross-discipline conference. We aim to present all traditional BMES and BME areas, but also highlight new emerging fields, such as tissue engineering, bioinformatics, biosensing, neurotechnology, additive manufacturing technologies for medicine and biology, and bioimaging, to name a few. Moreover, we will emphasize the role of education, translational research, and commercialization. Plenary speakers include Nobel Laureate professor Stephen Hell Call for Session Proposal DL: 30.10.2016 Deadline for Abstracts and Papers: 28.2.2017 Papers to be published in IFMBE Proceedings, indexed by Google scholar. Thomson Reuters and Scopus index many volumes in their ISI Proceedings and the Scopus database,