Research Group Jan Wenzel

Research Interests

My group is interested in the regulation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and in the distinct roles of the cells involved in the barrier function. The BBB is formed by the vessels and consists of the basement membrane and cells, which have special properties leading to a very tight and highly organized structure at the interface between blood and brain.

In a healthy brain, the BBB prevents neural tissue from the invasion of pathogens, the infiltration of immune cells and the extravasation of serum proteins. In addition, brain cells have a high demand for glucose, oxygen and other factors, coming from the blood. These factors are crossing the BBB via specialized transport mechanisms, which also have to be regulated.

We are interested in the role of endothelial cells, pericytes and astrocytes - as main cellular partners at the BBB - during physiological processes like the regulation of blood flow as well as during diseased states like stroke. For this purpose we are using state-of-the-art technologies like two-photon microscopy, tissue-specific knockout animal models, and virus-mediated gene transfer.


Institute of Physiology, University of Zürich (Group of C. Wagner)

Institute of Biomedical Optics (Group of G. Hüttmann)

Institute of Physiology (Group of C. de Wit)

Department of Dermatology (Group of C. Sadik)


2014-2016: Individual Funding of the University of Lübeck

2015-2017: Junior Research Cluster of the University of Lübeck

2015-2016: Funding of the German Research Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK)