Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Gerrit Hilgen

Research Associate


I am a postdoctoral Research Associate in the Institute of Neuroscience. My area of expertise is retinal/cellular neuroscience, neuroanatomy, cell biology,  sensory systems & computational neuroscience

Scientific Interest

My general scientific interest is on sensory signal processing in large neuronal networks and how the different neurons work together. During my PhD, I shed light on specialised cell-cell connections in the retina which form dynamic networks between neurons. After my PhD, I assembled a voltage-sensitive dye imaging system and developed my own image processing approaches to study how the tactile networks accomplish the integration of sensory input. In 2013, I switched back to retinal networks and started using large-scale high-density MEA recordings in combination with high-resolution structural imaging. I found that the maturation of retinal functionality is not spatially homogeneous, likely reflecting special ecological requirements, and established tools for automated quality control and unit selection for thousands of neurons. More recently, I became interested in the development of light responses in retinal organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells.


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Academic Positions Held

Sept. 2013- Postdoctoral Research Associate, Retinal Neurobiology, Dr. E. Sernagor, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, UK

2012-2013 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Computational Neuroscience, Prof. J.Kretzberg, University of Oldenburg, Germany


2012 PhD in Neurobiology, University of Oldenburg, Mathematics and Sciences, Germany.

2007 Diploma in Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Physiology, University of Oldenburg, Mathematics and Sciences, Germany.

1999 General Qualification for University Entrance (Abitur), Bad Zwischenahn, Germany



I possess the certificate for “Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education UK” (ILTHE) and supervised  undergraduate project,  master project and  PhD students in Newcastle. I also participated as a seminar leader (Biochemistry) and I am engaged as a tutor in the ION summer school. I enjoy working with students and my dedication is always to make sure that they get the most out of their time.