Connecting European Neuroscience

Thomas Nevian

Programme Committee Member FENS Forum 2020

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and Academic Career


  • 2017-today: Managing Director, Department of Physiology, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2014-today: Full Professor of Physiology, Medical Faculty, Department of Physiology, University of Bern, Switzerland


  • 2010-2014: Assistant Professor, Medical Faculty, Department of Physiology, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2006- 2010: Independent Group Leader, Medical Faculty, Department of Physiology, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2005-2006: Research Assistant, Medical Faculty, Department of Physiology, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2003-2005: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell Physiology, Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany 


  • 1999-2003: PhD, Department of Cell Physiology, Prof. Dr. Bert Sakmann, Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1994-1998: Master of Science in Physics, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Honours and Awards


  • 2016: European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant, European Union
  • 2016: Pfizer Research Prize, Foundation Pfizer Research Prize, Switzerland
  • 2012: Theodor Kocher Prize, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2008: Pfizer Research Prize, Foundation Pfizer Research Prize, Switzerland


  • 2013: Appointment as Professor in Neurophysiology, University of Basel, Switzerland (position declined)
  • 2012-2014: Tenure Track Assistant Professor, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2010-2014: Research Professorship, Swiss National Science Foundation, Switzerland
  • 2010: List position 3, W3-Professorship in Neurobiology, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
  • 2009: Helmholtz Young Investigator Award, Helmholtz Association, Germany (position declined)
  • 2003-2005: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Max-Planck-Scociety, Germany
  • 1995-1998: Student Scholarship, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Germany 

General Administrative and Organisational Experience

  • Council Member of the Swiss Society for Neuroscience
  • Member of the Research Commission of the Medical Faculty, University of Bern
  • Member of the Board of Directors “Clinical Neuroscience Bern”, University of Bern
  • Scientific Advisory Board of the “Microscopy Centre Bern”
  • Scientific Meetings (last 5 years)
  • 2016: Symposium “Dendrites and Synapses: Plasticity and Memories in all Compartments”, Winter Conference on Neuronal Plasticity, Maui, USA
  • 2015: Symposium “Synaptic Plasticity”, 1st Swiss Memory Workshop, Switzerland
  • 2014: Program Organisation Committee, Swiss Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2014: Symposium “Superresolution Microscopy”, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2013: Symposium “Light Sheet Microscopy: 3D Insight into solid organs”, Switzerland
  • 2013: Symposium “Endocannabinoid Function of the Nervous System”, Bern, Switzerland.

Research Interests

We are investigating the basic neuronal plasticity mechanisms of cortical neurons in health and disease. In particular we are interested in the changes that occur at synapses, dendrites, neurons and neuronal networks under conditions of neuropathic pain. We are employing state-of-the-art optical and electrophysiological techniques to study these fundamental questions. Currently, we are using quadruple patch-clamp recordings, dual whole-cell dendritic recordings, in vivo electrophysiology and in vivo two-photon fluorescence microscopy of single cells and neuronal networks to characterize the changes that occur at the cellular level in cortical neurons of neuropathic mice. We focus our work on the emotional and affective processing of pain in the anterior cingulate cortex.

Selected Publications

1. Santello M, Bisco A, Nevian NE, Lacivita E, Leopoldo M, Nevian T (2017) The brain-penetrant 5-HT7 receptor agonist LP-211 reduces the sensory and affective components of neuropathic pain. Neurobiol Dis 106:214-221

2. Santello M, Nevian T (2015) Dysfunction of cortical dendritic integration in neuropathic pain reversed by serotoninergic neuromodulation. Neuron 86:233-246

3. Blom SM, Pfister JP, Santello M, Senn W, Nevian T (2014) Nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain causes disinhibition of the anterior cingulate cortex. J Neurosci 34:5754-5764

4. Min R, Nevian T (2012) Astrocyte signaling controls spike timing-dependent depression at neocortical synapses. Nature Neurosci 15:746-753

5. Larkum ME*, Nevian T*, Sandler M, Polsky A, Schiller J (2009) Synaptic integration in tuft dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons: a new unifying principle. Science 325:756-760
(* equal contribution)

6. Larkum ME, Nevian T (2008) Synaptic clustering by dendritic signalling mechanisms. Curr Opin Neurobiol 18:321-331

7. Nevian T, Larkum ME, Polsky A, Schiller J (2007) Properties of basal dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons: a direct patch-clamp recording study. Nature Neurosci 10:206-214

8. Nevian T, Sakmann B (2006) Spine Ca2+ signaling in spike-timing dependent plasticity. J Neurosci 26:11001-11013.

Thomas Nevian

Professor of Physiology
Managing Director
Department of Physiology
University of Bern
Bühlplatz 5
3012 Bern.