Silvia Arber

Group News

Mar 3, 2022
Brain Prize 2022 for Silvia Arber
Mar 3, 2022
Basler Neurobiologin mit hochdotiertem Brain Prize ausgezeichnet
Oct 27, 2021
Research grant for Silvia Arber to investigate Parkinson's
Jul 26, 2021
More than just walking: a new role for core brain region
Apr 22, 2021
ERC Advanced Grant for Silvia Arber
All group news


Biozentrum - Silvia Arber Group

Silvia Arber

Motor circuit function

Our studies aim at identifying the principles by which neuronal circuits orchestrate accurate and timely control of motor behavior. We thrive to understand how the nervous system can produce a large repertoire of movement patterns, covering diverse motor actions from locomotion to skilled forelimb tasks. To decipher how motor circuits engage in the control of movement and contribute to the generation of diverse actions, we unravel how neuronal subpopulations are organized into specific circuits, and we study the function of identified circuits in execution and learning of motor programs.

We address these questions using multi-facetted approaches combining many technologies. These include state-of-the-art mouse genetics, development and implementation of viral technologies for transsynaptic circuit tracing and functional manipulation by opto- and pharmacogenetics, quantitative behavioral analysis, electrophysiology and gene expression profiling of identified neuronal subpopulations.

The combination of these approaches allows us to assess connectivity and manipulate function in order to determine the role of defined circuit elements in animal behavior. Furthermore, they also enable us to uncover mechanisms involved in motor circuit assembly during development, as well as circuit plasticity during motor learning and in response to disease or injury.

Silvia Arber

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.

Manuel J. Ferreira-Pinto*, Harsh Kanodia*, Antonio Falasconi*, Markus Sigrist, Maria S. Esposito, and Silvia Arber (2021) Functional diversity for body actions in the mesencephalic locomotor region.

Cell [ePub ahead of print]

Ludwig Ruder, Riccardo Schina, Harsh Kanodia, Sara Valencia-Garcia, Chiara Pivetta and Silvia Arber (2021) A functional map for diverse forelimb actions within brainstem circuitry.

Nature 590, 445-450

Ruder L, Arber S (2019) Brainstem Circuits Controlling Action Diversification.

Annu Rev Neurosci. 42:485-504

Takeoka A, Arber S (2019) Functional Local Proprioceptive Feedback Circuits Initiate and Maintain Locomotor Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury.

Cell Rep 27(1):71-85.e3

Ferreira-Pinto MJ, Ruder L, Capelli P, Arber S. (2018) Connecting Circuits for Supraspinal Control of Locomotion.

Neuron 100(2):361-374

Heindorf M, Arber S, Keller GB (2018) Mouse Motor Cortex Coordinates the Behavioral Response to Unpredicted Sensory Feedback

Neuron 99:1040-1050.e5

Capelli P, Pivetta C, Soledad Esposito M, Arber S (2017) Locomotor speed control circuits in the caudal brainstem

Nature 551, 373-377

Ruder L, Takeoka A, Arber S. (2016) Long-distance descending spinal neurons ensure quadrupedal locomotor stability

Neuron 92:1063-1078

Satoh D, Pudenz C, Arber S (2016) Context-dependent gait choice elicited by EphA4 mutation in Lbx1 spinal interneurons

Neuron 89:1046-1058

Basaldella E, Takeoka A, Sigrist M, Arber S (2015) Multisensory signaling shapes vestibulo-motor circuit specificity

Cell 163:301-312

Goetz C, Pivetta C, Arber S (2015) Distinct limb and trunk premotor circuits establish laterality in the spinal cord

Neuron 85:131-144

Takeoka A, Vollenweider I, Courtine G, Arber S (2014) Muscle spindle feedback directs locomotor recovery and circuit reorganization after spinal cord injury

Cell 159:1626-1639

Esposito MS, Capelli P, Arber S (2014) Brainstem nucleus MdV mediates skilled forelimb motor tasks

Nature 508:351-356

Pivetta C, Esposito MS, Sigrist M,Arber S (2014) Motor-circuit communication matrix from spinal cord to brainstem neurons revealed by developmental origin

Cell 156:537-548

Arber S (2012) Motor circuits in action: specification, connectivity, and function

Neuron 74:975-989

Tripodi M, Arber S (2012) Regulation of motor circuit assemblyby spatial and temporal mechanisms

Curr Opin Neurobiol 22:615-623

Tripodi M, Stepien AE, Arber S (2011) Motor antagonism exposed by spatial segregation and timing of neurogenesis

Nature. 479:61-66

Stepien AE, Tripodi M, Arber S (2010) Monosynaptic rabies virus reveals premotor network organization and synaptic specificity of cholinergic partition cells

Neuron 68:456-472

Pecho-Vrieseling E, Sigrist M, Yoshida Y, Jessell TM, Arber S (2009) Specificity of sensory-motor connections encoded by Sema3e-Plxnd1 recognition

Nature 459:842-6

Ladle DR, Pecho-Vrieseling E, Arber S (2007) Assembly of motor circuits in the spinal cord: driven to function by genetic and experience-dependent mechanisms

Neuron 56:270-283

Kramer I, Sigrist M, de Nooij JC, Taniuchi I, Jessell TM, Arber S (2006) A role for Runx transcription factor signaling in dorsal root ganglion sensory neuron diversification

Neuron 49:379-393

Vrieseling E, Arber S (2006) Target-induced transcriptional control of dendritic patterning and connectivity in motor neurons by ETS gene Pea3

Cell 127:1439-1452

Hippenmeyer S, Vrieseling E, Sigrist M, Portmann T, Laengle C, Ladle DR, Arber S (2005) A developmental switch in the response of DRG neurons to ETS transcription factor signaling

PLoS Biol. 3:e159

Full list of publications
» Search with Medline


Group leader

In current position since 2020
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PhD students

In current position since 2021
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In current position since 2019
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In current position since 2023
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In current position since 2024
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In current position since 2020
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Postdoctoral fellows

In current position since 2023
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In current position since 2023
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In current position since 2023
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In current position since 2021
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Technical/Research associates

In current position since 2023
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In current position since 2003
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In current position since 2000
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In current position since 2024
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Visiting scientists

In current position since 2022
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In current position since 2023
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PhD students

Francesca Cavallo (2020-2023)
Vittoria Peretti (2019-2023)
Gloria Zaina (2020-2023)
Ana Rita Afonso (2018-2023)
Wuzhou Yang (2017-2023)
Staci Thornton (2018-2022)
Keith Gunapala (2014-2021)
Manuel Pinto (2015-2021)
Riccardo Schina (2015-2021)
Ludwig Ruder (2013-2019)
Paolo Capelli (2011-2018)
Matthias Heindorf (2012-2017)
Emanuela Basaldella (2010-2016)
Cyrill Goetz (2011-2015)
Chiara Pivetta (2009-2014)
Christiane Pudenz (2010-2014)
Anna Stepien (2005-2011)
Jun Lee (2005-2011)
Neha Rajadhyaksha (2009-2011)
Andrea Sieber (2008-2009)
Simon Dalla Torre (2004-2009)
Andreas Friese (2003-2008)
Roland Huber (2006-2007)
Marlies Muernseer (2006-2007)
Eline Pecho Vrieseling (2001-2006)
Rishard Salie (2001-2005)
Ina Kramer (2000-2005)
Vera Niederkofler (2000-2005)
Simon Hippenmeyer (2000-2004)

Postdoctoral fellows

Kevin Fidelin (2018-2023)
Paola Patella (2019-2022)
Paolo Capelli (2018-2021)
Kevin Yamauchi (2020)
Maria Soledad Esposito (2008-2018)
Sara Valencia Garcia (2015-2018)
Fabien Alcaraz (2016-2018)
Eduardo Arteaga Bracho (2017-2018)
Aya Takeoka (2010-2016)
Daisuke Satoh (2010-2016)
Sheyla Mejia Gervacio (2012-2015)
Young-Gyun Park (2013-2015)
Marco Tripodi (2008-2013)
Celine Jean-Xavier (2008-2011)
Eline Pecho Vrieseling (2007-2008)
David Ladle (2002-2008)
Stan Nakanishi (2005-2006)
Simon Hippenmeyer (2004-2006)
Ina Kramer (2005-2006)

Technical/Research associates

Elisa Cacciatore (2023-2024)
Elisa Cacciatore (2021-2023)
Chiara Pivetta (2014-2022)
Elisa Cacciatore (2020-2021)


Cassandra Nyerges (2021-2024)
Gabriele Sibilla (2021-2023)
Julia Rosa Di Pietro Torres (2022-2023)
Alberto Griffa (2022)
Hannah Buehler (2021)
Svenja Voggensperger (2021)
Luminita Rosca (2021)
Tobias Brumm (2020-2021)
Nadia Schlauri (2020-2021)
Sevda Simsek (2020)
Elisa Cacciatore (2019-2020)
Alex Gerber (2020)
Artur Schmidt (2014-2016)
Inka Busack (2014)
Keith Gunapala (2014)
Mildred Alejandra Gutierrez Herrera (2013-2014)
Ludwig Ruder (2012)
Naomi Walker (2012)
Cyrill Goetz (2010-2011)
Sibel Guerler (2008-2010)
Vito Lotito (2009)
Milica Petrovic (2008-2009)
Joachim Luginbuehl (2006-2008)
Alison Kate Macintyre (2006-2007)
Roland Huber (2005-2006)
Jennifer Henaghan (2005)
Claudia Suenderhauf (2004)
Celia Laengle (2003-2004)
Thomas Portmann (2002-2004)
Simon Strobel (2000-2001)

Visiting scientists

Andres De Vicente (2022-2023)
Manuel Pinto (2021-2022)
Antonio Falasconi (2020)
Aryn Gittis (2020)
Antonio Falasconi (2019)
Celina Hartmann (2016)
Kohdai Muraki (2016)
Sabine Brodbeck (2002)


PhD, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
BSc, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Positions held

Co-Director FMI
Full Professor for Neurobiology/Cell Biology, Biozentrum, University of Basel
Associate Professor for Neurobiology/Cell Biology, Biozentrum, University of Basel
Senior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
Assistant Professor for Neurobiology/Cell Biology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel and Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research,Basel, Switzerland
Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University, HHMI, New York


ERC Advanced Grant
American National Academy of Sciences Member
International Prize of the Fyssen Foundation
Pradel Research Award
Novartis VIVA Leading Scientist Award
Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine
ERC Advanced Grant
Remedios Caro Almela Prize in Developmental Neurobiology
Basel City Award
Otto Naegeli Prize
Friedrich Miescher Award
Schellenberg Prize
EMBO Member
Member, Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
National Latsis Prize
EMBO Young Investigator Award 2000
Human Frontier Science Program Award for Young Investigators
Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship
Pfizer Research Prize
Best Thesis of the Year, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Basel
Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Long-Term Fellowship
EMBO Long-Term Fellowship
E. Fisher Best Thesis Prize, FMI
Swiss Foundation for Research on Muscle Diseases Fellowship