Connecting European Neuroscience

Roska, Botond

Member, The Brain Conferences Committee (2016 - present)

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and academic career

Senior group leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel
Junior group leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel
Harvard Junior Fellow, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge
PhD Student, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California Berkeley, PhD (2002)
Medical student, Semmelweis Medical School, Budapest, MD Summa Cum Laude (1995)
Student, Mathematics, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest
Student, Violoncello, Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest

Honours and awards

EMBO member
Alcon Award
VIVA Award
ERC Starting Grant
EMBO Young Investigator
Marie Curie Excellence Grant of the European Union
Human Frontiers Science Program Young Investigator
Harvard Society Fellow
Harvard Society Fellow
Bearden Memorial Award for biophysics
Fulbright Fellow

Research interests

The function of the brain can be studied at many different hierarchical levels. We are interested in how neurons interact in local neuronal networks to compute behaviourally relevant functions and how fundamental circuit motifs, relevant for computation, develop. We use the mammalian retina and the visual cortex as a model system because the input, a dynamically changing light pattern, is well defined and can be easily manipulated experimentally. Moreover, the activity of each neuron can be recorded during light stimulation. Our experimental approach is interdisciplinary: we combine imaging, physiological, molecular, viral and computational approaches to reveal the structure and function of retinal and cortical circuits. Basic understanding of neuronal circuits could lead to rational therapies in certain forms of blindness. Using circuit-specific targeting of a light-activated channel, channelrhodopsin-2, or the light-activated pump halorhodopsin, we recently restored some visual function in vivo in mouse models of retinal degeneration and in vitro in human retinal explant cultures. Our goal is to advance this therapy for use in humans.

Previous positions as FENS officer

Programme Committee Member for the FENS Forum (2012 - 2014) 

Selected Publications

  • Siegert S, Cabuy E, Gross Scherf B, Kohler H, Panda A, Le YZ, Fehling HJ, Gaidatzis DG, Stadler MB, Roska B. Transcriptional code and disease map for adult retinal cell types. Nature Neuroscience. 2012 Jan 22;15(3):487-95
  • Yonehara K, Balint K, Noda M, Nagel G, Bamberg E, Roska B. Spatially asymmetric reorganization of inhibition establishes a motion-sensitive circuit. Nature. 2011 Jan 20;469(7330):407-10
  • Busskamp V, Duebel J, Balya D, Fradot M, Viney TJ, Siegert S, Groner AC, Cabuy E, Forster V, Seeliger M, Biel M, Humphries P, Paques M, Mohand-Said S, Trono D, Deisseroth K, Sahel JA, Picaud S, Roska B. Genetic reactivation of cone photoreceptors restores visual responses in retinitis pigmentosa. Science. 2010 Jul 23;329(5990):413-7.
  • Krol J, Busskamp V, Markiewicz I, Stadler MB, Ribi S, Duebel J, Oertner TO, Schübeler D, Schratt G, Fehling HJ, Richter J, Bibel M, Roska B* and Filipowicz W* (2010) . Characterization of microRNAs induced by light adaptation in mouse retina reveals rapid turnover as a common property of neuronal microRNAs. (*shared corresponding authors) Cell. 2010 May 14;141(4):618-31.
  • Münch TA, da Silveira RA, Siegert S, Viney TJ, Awatramani GB, Roska B. Approach sensitivity in the retina processed by a multifunctional neural circuit. Nature Neuroscience. 2009 Oct; 12(10):1308-16.
  • Siegert S, Scherf BG, Del Punta K, Didkovsky N, Heintz N, Roska B. Genetic address book for retinal cell types. Nature Neuroscience. 2009 Sep; 12(9):1197-204.
  • Boldogkoi Z, Balint K, Awatramani GB, Balya D, Busskamp V, Viney TJ, Lagali PS, Duebel J, Pásti E, Tombácz D, Tóth JS, Takács IF, Scherf BG, Roska B. Genetically timed, activity-sensor and rainbow transsynaptic viral tools. Nature Methods. 2009 Feb; 6(2):127-30.
  • Lagali PS, Balya D, Awatramani GB, Münch TA, Kim DS, Busskamp V, Cepko CL, Roska B. Light-activated channels targeted to ON bipolar cells restore visual function in retinal degeneration. Nature Neuroscience. 2008 Jun; 11(6):667-75.
  • Roska B, Werblin F. Rapid global shifts in natural scenes block spiking in specific ganglion cell types. Nature Neuroscience. 2003 Jun; 6(6):600-8.
  • Roska B, Werblin F. Vertical interactions across ten parallel, stacked representations in the mammalian retina. Nature. 2001 Mar 29; 410(6828):583-7.


Roska, Botond

Friedrich Miescher Institute
Maulbeerstrasse 66
P.O. Box 2543
4002 Basel