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Background: Gerrit Hilgen started his first academic position in the department of Applied Sciences in 2020. He is interested in neuronal signal processing, functional and structural imaging, as well as scientific computing with a focus on the mature and neonatal retina in health and disease and human retinal organoids. His research is internationally recognised as evidenced by frequent invitations for talks and many peer-reviewed publications in high prestige journals. Gerrit has successfully spearheaded interdisciplinary research projects and led a scientific consultancy in an industrial collaboration.

Gerrit is involved in projects such as transplanting photoreceptor precursors at early and severe stages of retinal degeneration to restore vision, shedding light on hypersensitivity to evening light in bipolar disorder patients, and deciphering novel synapse formation mechanisms and ocular channelopathies. Gerrit’s ambition is to build a world-leading laboratory that bridges between neuroscience, cellular imaging, multi-omics/multimodal, and computational approaches. He integrates such technologies to create a cellular imaging framework for characterising cell types in complex tissues like organoids and 3D cell tissues. Currently, he holds the departmental theme lead for Neuroscience and co-founded interest groups to foster collaborations in organoid and microscopy sciences in the department of Applied Sciences.

Gerrit was awarded a HEA Fellowship in 2021 and is responsible for the development and implementation of learning and teaching content for the BSc Biology and Biomedical programmes. He serves as an external examiner for MSc and PhD dissertations, as well as a personal tutor and lecturer on a wide range of Biology/Biomedical modules ranging from neuroscience and neuroanatomy to applied neuroinformatics and advanced microscopy. Since May 2020, he has been the module leader for the L6 module "AP0615 Neuroscience in Practice," which gives students a fundamental understanding of practical methods used in Neuroscience and Neurology. Since September 2022, he is also the module leader for the year-long L6 module " AP0606 Biomedical and Biological Sciences Research Projects", the UG final year project module for BSc Biology and Biomedical students.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Neurosciences, PhD, Expression and functional role of the solute carrier NCBE and the gap junction proteins connexin45 and connexin57 in the mouse retina, University of Oldenburg

Award Date: 7 Jun 2012


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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