RG Ryu

Head: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Soojin Ryu




Marwah Al Hushail, research assistant
Dr. Holger Beckmann, scientist
Dr. Min K. Choi, postdoc
Alexander Cook, PhD student
Dr. Sara Kunz, postdoc
Tatjana Kuzenko, PhD student
Siyong Kim, PhD student
Dr. Jatin Nagpal, postdoc

Research overview:
The Ryu group is interested in understanding how stress affects brain and behavior. One major goal is to identify novel molecular mechanism that contribute to reslience to stress-induced dysfunctions. For this purpose, the group has pioneered establishing a novel animal model to study stress response using zebrafish. The group possesses expertise in diverse methods using zebrafish including genetic, molecular, imaging and behavioral methods. 

Current research projects:

  • Identification of novel regulators that mediate the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis effects on behavior
  • Analysis of the effects of early life stress exposure on neural circuit structure and function
  • Establishment of resilience model using zebrafish and identification of molecular mechanisms that promote resilience

External collaboration partners:

  • Prof. Erin Schuman, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
  • Dr. Harald Janovjak, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
  • Dr. Johann Bollman, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany


  • German Research Foundation
  • German Ministry of Education and Research
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

 Key publications:

  • De Marco RJ, Thiemann T, Groneberg AH, Herget U, Ryu S (2016) Optogenetically enhanced pituitary corticotroph cell activity post-stress onset causes rapid organizing effects on behaviour. Nat Commun 7:12620.
  • Vom Berg-Maurer CM, Trivedi CA, Bollmann JH, De Marco RJ, Ryu S (2016) The Severity of Acute Stress Is Represented by Increased Synchronous Activity and Recruitment of Hypothalamic CRH Neurons. J Neurosci 36(11):3350-62.
  • Gutierrez-Triana JA, Herget U, Castillo-Ramirez LA, Lutz M, Yeh CM, De Marco RJ, Ryu S (2015) Manipulation of Interrenal Cell Function in Developing Zebrafish Using Genetically Targeted Ablation and an Optogenetic Tool. Endocrinology 156(9):3394-401.
  • De Marco RJ, Groneberg AH, Yeh CM, Castillo Ramírez LA, Ryu S (2013) Optogenetic elevation of endogenous glucocorticoid level in larval zebrafish. Front Neural Circuits 7:82.
  • Wolf A, Ryu S (2013) Specification of posterior hypothalamic neurons requires coordinated activities of Fezf2, Otp, Sim1a and Foxb1.2. Development 140(8):1762-73.