Botond Roska

Group News

Jan 22, 2019
Botond Roska awarded Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine
Dec 5, 2018
Whole-brain imaging of mice during behavior
Jun 22, 2018
Important step towards a computer model that predicts the outcome of eye diseases
Mar 8, 2018
2018 Bressler Prize in Vision Science awarded to Botond Roska
Dec 18, 2017
Virus stamping - a versatile new method for genetic engineering of single cells
All group news


FMI report pages

Botond Roska

Structure and function of neural circuits

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 behaviorally relevant functions. We use the mammalian retina as a model system because the input, the dynamically changing light pattern, is well defined and can be easily manipulated experimentally. Moreover, the activity of each neuron can be recorded during retinal light stimulation.
Our experimental approach is inter-disciplinary: We combine physiological, molecular, viral and computational approaches to reveal the structure and function of retinal circuits. We use molecular techniques to genetically identify cell types in the network and label them using transgenic technologies. The connections of labeled cells are revealed using trans-synaptic viruses. Next we study the function of a genetically isolated circuit with physiological and imaging tools. Finally, we use computational methods to predict the behavior of an isolated circuit in natural conditions.

Botond Roska

This is a list of selected publications from this group. For a full list of publications, please visit our Publications page and search by group name.

Macé E, Montaldo G, Trenholm S, Cowan C, Brignall A, Urban A, Roska B. (2018) Whole-Brain Functional Ultrasound Imaging Reveals Brain Modules for Visuomotor Integration

Neuron. 2018 Dec 5;100(5):1241-1251.e7

Drinnenberg A, Franke F, Morikawa RK, Jüttner J, Hillier D, Hantz P, Hierlemann A, Azeredo da Silveira R, Roska B (2018) How Diverse Retinal Functions Arise from Feedback at the First Visual Synapse

Neuron. 2018 Jul 11;99(1):117-134.e11

Roska B, Sahel JA (2018) Restoring vision

Nature. 2018 May;557(7705):359-367

Schubert R, Trenholm S, Balint K, Kosche G, Cowan CS, Mohr MA, Munz M, Martinez-Martin D, Fläschner G, Newton R, Krol J, Scherf BG, Yonehara K, Wertz A, Ponti A, Ghanem A, Hillier D, Conzelmann KK, Müller DJ*, Roska B* (2018) Virus stamping for targeted single-cell infection in vitro and in vivo

Nature Biotechnology 2018 Jan;36(1):81-88
(*shared corresponding authors)

Hillier D, Fiscella M, Drinnenberg A, Trenholm S, Rompani SB, Raics Z, Katona G, Juettner J, Hierlemann A, Rozsa B, Roska B (2017) Causal evidence for retina-dependent and -independent visual motion computations in mouse cortex

Nature Neuroscience 2017 Jul;20(7):960-968

Rompani SB, Müllner FE, Wanner A, Zhang C, Roth CN, Yonehara K, Roska B. (2017) Different Modes of Visual Integration in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus Revealed by Single-Cell-Initiated Transsynaptic Tracing

Neuron. 2017 Feb 22;93(4):767-776

Yonehara K, Fiscella M, Drinnenberg A, Esposti F, Trenholm S, Krol J, Franke F, Scherf BG, Kusnyerik A, Müller J, Szabo A, Jüttner J, Cordoba F, Reddy AP, Németh J, Nagy ZZ, Munier F, Hierlemann A, Roska B (2016) Congenital Nystagmus Gene FRMD7 Is Necessary for Establishing a Neuronal Circuit Asymmetry for Direction Selectivity

Neuron. 2016 Jan 6;89(1):177-93

Wertz A, Trenholm S, Yonehara K, Hillier D, Raics Z, Leinweber M, Szalay G, Ghanem A, Keller G, Rozsa B, Conzelmann KK, Roska B. (2015) Single-cell-initiated monosynaptic tracing reveals layer-specific cortical network modules

Science. 3;349(6243):70-4

Szikra T, Trenholm S, Drinnenberg A, Jüttner J, Raics Z, Farrow K, Biel M, Awatramani G, Clark DA, Sahel JA, da Silveira RA, Roska B. (2014) Rods in daylight act as relay cells for cone-driven horizontal cell-mediated surround inhibition.

Nat Neurosci. 2014 Oct 26. doi: 10.1038/nn.3852. [Epub ahead of print]

Busskamp V, Krol J, Nelidova D, Daum J, Szikra T, Tsuda B, Jüttner J, Farrow K, Scherf BG, Alvarez CP, Genoud C, Sothilingam V, Tanimoto N, Stadler M, Seeliger M, Stoffel M, Filipowicz W*, Roska B* (2014) miRNAs 182 and 183 Are Necessary to Maintain Adult Cone Photoreceptor Outer Segments and Visual Function

Neuron. 83(3):586-600
* shared corresponding authors

Yonehara K, Farrow K, Ghanem A, Hillier D, Balint K, Teixeira M, Jüttner J, Noda M, Neve RL, Conzelmann KK, Roska B (2013) The first stage of cardinal direction selectivity is localized to the dendrites of retinal ganglion cells

Neuron. 79(6):1078-85

Farrow K, Teixeira M, Szikra T, Viney TJ, Balint K, Yonehara K, Roska B (2013) Ambient illumination toggles a neuronal circuit switch in the retina and visual perception at cone threshold

Neuron. 78(2):325-38

Siegert S, Cabuy E, Scherf BG, Kohler H, Panda S, Le YZ, Fehling HJ, Gaidatzis D, Stadler MB, Roska B (2012) Transcriptional code and disease map for adult retinal cell types

Nat Neurosci. 15(3):487-95

Katona G, Szalay G, Maak P, Kaszas A, Veress M, Hillier D, Chiovini B, Vizi ES, Roska B, Rozsa B. (2012) Fast two-photon in vivo imaging with three-dimensional random-access scanning in large tissue volumes

Nat Methods. 9(2):201-8

Yonehara K, Balint K, Noda M, Nagel G, Bamberg E, Roska B (2010) Spatially asymmetric reorganization of inhibition establishes a motion sensitive circuit

Nature 469:407-10

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 (2010) Genetic reactivation of cone photoreceptors restores visual responses in retinitis pigmentosa

Science 329:413-7

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*, Filipowicz W* (2010) Characterization of microRNAs induced by light adaptation in mouse retina reveals rapid turnover as a common property of neuronal microRNAs

Cell 141:618-31
*shared corresponding authors

Boldogkoi Z, Balint K, Awatramani GB, Balya D, Busskamp V, Viney TJ, Lagali PS, Duebel J, Pasti E, Tombacz D, Toth JS, Takacs IF, Scherf BG, Roska B (2009) Genetically timed, activity-sensor and rainbow transsynaptic viral tools

Nature Meth 6:127-130

Muench T, da Silveira RA, Siegert S, Viney TJ, Awatramani G, Roska B (2009) Approach sensitivity in the retina processed by a multifunctional neural circuit

Nature Neurosci 12:1308-16

Siegert S, Gross Scherf B, Del Punta K, Didkovsky N, Heintz N, Roska B (2009) Genetic address book for retinal cell types

Nature Neurosci 12:1197-1204

Lagali PS, Balya D, Awatramani GB, Münch TA, Kim DS, Busskamp V, Cepko CL, Roska B (2008) Light-activated channels targeted to ON bipolar cells restore visual function in retinal degeneration

Nature Neurosci 11:667-675

Viney TJ, Balint K, Hillier D, Siegert S, Boldogkoi Z, Enquist LW, Meister M, Cepko CL, Roska B (2007) Local retinal circuits of melanopsin-containing ganglion cells identified by transsynaptic viral tracing

Curr Biol 17:981-988

Roska B, Werblin F (2003) Rapid global shifts in natural scenes block spiking in specific ganglion cell types

Nature Neurosci 6:600-608

Roska B, Werblin F (2001) Vertical interactions across ten parallel, stacked representations in the mammalian retina

Nature 410:583-587

Full list of publications
» Search with Medline


Group leader

Postdoctoral fellows

Technical/Research associates



PhD students

Dasha Nelidova (2012-2019)
Antonia Drinnenberg (2010-2018)
Janine Daum (2012-2017)
Kamill Balint (2007-2015)
Miguel Teixeira (2009-2014)
Ian Lloyd Jones (2010)
Sandra Siegert (2005-2010)
Volker Busskamp (2006-2010)
Tim Viney (2005-2010)

Postdoctoral fellows

Georg Kosche (2017-2019)
Emilie Mace (2015-2019)
Cameron Cowan (2015-2019)
Magdalena Renner (2016-2019)
Arjun Bharioke (2016-2018)
Jacek Krol (2012-2018)
Robin Tremblay (2018)
Daniel Hillier (2008-2018)
Antonia Drinnenberg (2018)
Santiago Rompani (2009-2017)
Zoltan Raics (2010-2017)
Stuart Trenholm (2013-2017)
Adrian Wertz (2011-2017)
Federico Esposti (2013-2016)
Indranil Banerjee (2012-2016)
Tamas Szikra (2007-2016)
Peter Hantz (2011-2015)
Therese Cronin (2012-2015)
Keisuke Yonehara (2009-2014)
Karl Farrow (2007-2013)
Thomas Russell (2012)
Sandra Siegert (2010-2011)
Volker Busskamp (2010-2011)
Jens Duebel (2007-2011)
David Balya (2005-2010)
Pamela Lagali (2005-2009)
Thomas Muench (2005-2008)
Yukiko Shimada (2006-2007)
Gautam Awatramani (2007)

Technical/Research associates

Claudia Patricia Patino Alvarez (2012-2018)
Tamas Szikra (2016-2018)
Aude Villemain (2017)
Monique Lerch (2015-2017)
Sabrina Djaffer (2007-2014)


Alexandra Brignall (2018)
Oezkan Keles (2015-2018)
Basil Thommen (2017-2018)
Chiara Roth (2014-2018)
Rozina Ida Hajdu (2017)
Mark Di Giovanni (2014)
Josephine Juettner (2009-2011)
Andreas Reimann (2007-2009)
Holger Busskamp (2007)
Volker Busskamp (2005-2006)

Visiting scientists

Aldin Srdanovic (2017-2018)
Santiago Rompani (2017-2018)
Rajib Schubert (2012-2017)
Alexandra Brignall (2017)
Ashrithpal Police Reddy (2014)
Jin Woo Kim (2013-2014)
Ben Tsuda (2013)
Chi Zhang (2013)
Ashrithpal Police Reddy (2013)
Alessio Delogu (2013)
Dasha Nelidova (2011)
Stuart Trenholm (2011)
Natalia Lugli (2010)
Vivian Choi (2010)
Toshiyuki Yamanaka (2009)
Miguel Teixeira (2009)
Daniel Rossier (2008)
Kamill Balint (2006-2007)
Guillaume Andrey (2007)
Simon Restrepo (2006-2007)
Santiago Rompani (2006)


PhD, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley
MD, Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest

Positions held

Director, Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB)
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Senior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
Junior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
Harvard Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, Harvard University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley


Louis-Jeantet Prize
W. Alden Spencer Award
Bressler Prize in Vision Science, New York
Cogan Award from the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
ERC Advanced investigator grant
Alfred Vogt Award
EMBO member
Alcon Award
ERC starting investigator
VIVA Leading Scientist Award
EMBO Young Investigator Award
Marie Curie Excellence Grant
Human Frontiers Science Program Young Investigator
Harvard Society Fellow
Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, UC Berkeley
Bearden Memorial Award for Biophysics
Human Frontiers Science Program Short Term Fellow
Fulbright Fellow