Molecular mechanisms of neuronal plasticity
Obituary Andrew Matus (1942-2021)
It is with great sadness that we learned that Andrew Matus passed away on April 26 after a short illness, at the age of 79. Andrew was a group leader at the FMI for nearly 30 years and Titular Professor at the University of Basel. He made pioneering contributions to the field of neurobiology and was instrumental in shaping today’s international visibility of the FMI in the study of neuronal circuits.
During my time as research group leader in Neurobiology at the Friedrich Miescher Institute my laboratory investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity in neuronal circuits of the brain.
We concentrated on understanding the dynamic activity of cytoskeletal filaments, primarily actin-based microfilaments and tubulin-based microtubules. This led us to the discovery that dendritic spines, tiny protrusions that form the contact sites for some 90% of brain synapses, are the primary sites of plasticity.
As a member of the Institute's emeritus community I continue to enjoy the FMI's unique, multi-national environment and excellent science through our active seminar program and continued contact with younger colleagues.
Ackermann M, Matus A (2003) Activity-induced targeting of profilin and stabilization of dendritic spine morphologyNature Neurosci 6:1194-1200
Fischer M, Kaech S, Wagner U, Brinkhaus H, Matus A (2000) Glutamate receptors regulate actin-based plasticity in dendritic spinesNature Neurosci 3:887-894
Matus A (2000) Actin dynamics and synaptic plasticityScience 290:754-758
Fischer M, Kaech S, Knutti D, Matus A (1998) Rapid actin-based plasticity in dendritic spinesNeuron 20:847-854
Matus A, Ackermann M, Pehling G, Byers HR, Fujiwara K (1982) High actin concentrations in brain dendritic spines and postsynaptic densitiesProc Natl Acad Sci USA 79:7590-7594