Menno P. Witter
Background and activities
Menno P. Witter heads the functional neuroanatomy research group, started in 2007. He is director of the Norwegian Research School in Neuroscience.
I received my Ph.D. at the VU University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where I subsequently started my independent research on the anatomical organization of the hippocampal region. In my early work, I postulated the existence of functional differentiations within both the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex based on thorough anatomical studies of their connectivity .
After many years of productive collaborations with May-Britt and Edvard Moser leading to the discovery of grid cells in 2004/5, I joined the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience NTNU in 2007, where I started my own research group. The current work of my group focusses on the functional architecture of the lateral and medial entorhinal cortex with the aim to contribute to the explanation of their functional differences. We study input/output in relation to local circuitry, with emphasis on the specific neurons and layers that receive or send information from and to other brain areas. We focus on the wiring of identified neuron types in the entorhinal cortex. Such information allows us to formulate biologically more precise descriptions of entorhinal networks. In addition, this information has a potential translational relevance. We have identified a cell-specific change in the expression of proteins in entorhinal layer II which seems involved in the early phases of Alzheimer’s disease, as studied in animal models. This research-line has been merged with human and clinical research in the recently awarded K.G. Jebsen Centre for Alzheimer's Disease with the aim to translate our basic research on space, time and memory coding in the brain to researchers and clinicians who study similar functions in Alzheimer patients, in order to unravel the clues underlying this devastating disease.
Together with colleagues at various universities in Norway, I initiated the Norwegian Research School in Neuroscience in 2013 and act as its director. I hold a visiting position at Tohoku University, Graduate School for Life Sciences and am the President of the board of the FENS (Federation of European Neuroscience Societies) Trust Foundation, The Netherlands. Further I am an elected member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, the Norwegian Academy of Science, and recipient of the 2016 Olav Thon Foundation International Research Award.
Scientific, academic and artistic work
A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database
- (2021) Re-emphasizing early Alzheimer's disease pathology starting in select entorhinal neurons, with a special focus on mitophagy. Ageing Research Reviews. vol. 67:101307.
- (2021) Local projections of layer Vb-to-Va are more prominent in lateral than in medial entorhinal cortex. eLIFE.
- (2020) Densities and numbers of calbindin and parvalbumin positive neurons across the rat and mouse brain. iScience. vol. 24:101906 (1).
- (2020) A Brainstem Locomotor Circuit Drives the Activity of Speed Cells in the Medial Entorhinal Cortex. Cell reports. vol. 32 (10).
- (2020) The thalamic midline nucleus reuniens: potential relevance for schizophrenia and epilepsy. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. vol. 119.
- (2020) Development and topographic organization of subicular projections to lateral septum in the rat brain. European Journal of Neuroscience. vol. 52 (4).
- (2019) GABAA receptor subunit α3 in network dynamics in the medial entorhinal cortex. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. vol. 13:10.
- (2019) Postnatal development of functional projections from parasubiculum and presubiculum to medial entorhinal cortex in the rat. Journal of Neuroscience. vol. 39 (44).
- (2019) Convergent Projections from Perirhinal and Postrhinal Cortices Suggest a Multisensory Nature of Lateral, but Not Medial, Entorhinal Cortex. Cell reports. vol. 29 (3).
- (2019) The nucleus reuniens of the thalamus sits at the nexus of a hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex circuit enabling memory and behavior. Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.). vol. 26 (7).
- (2019) Development and topographical organization of projections from the hippocampus and parahippocampus to the retrosplenial cortex. European Journal of Neuroscience.
- (2019) Electrophysiological Characterization of Networks and Single Cells in the Hippocampal Region of a Transgenic Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease. eNeuro. vol. 6 (1).
- (2019) Neuronal chemo-architecture of the entorhinal cortex: A comparative review. European Journal of Neuroscience. vol. 50 (10).
- (2019) Neurons and networks in the entorhinal cortex: A reappraisal of the lateral and medial entorhinal subdivisions mediating parallel cortical pathways. Hippocampus.
- (2019) Entorhinal Layer II Calbindin-Expressing Neurons Originate Widespread Telencephalic and Intrinsic Projections. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. vol. 13.
- (2019) Organization of Posterior Parietal–Frontal Connections in the Rat. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. vol. 13 (38).
- (2018) Development of Parvalbumin-Expressing Basket Terminals in Layer II of the Rat Medial Entorhinal Cortex. eNeuro. vol. 5 (3).
- (2018) Marked Diversity of Unique Cortical Enhancers Enables Neuron-Specific Tools by Enhancer-Driven Gene Expression. Current Biology. vol. 28 (13).
- (2018) Architecture and Organization of Mouse Posterior Parietal Cortex Relative to Extrastriate Areas. European Journal of Neuroscience.
- (2018) Inhibitory Connectivity Dominates the Fan Cell Network in Layer II of Lateral Entorhinal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience. vol. 38 (45).