Roja Saffari

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1
Gebäude A9
D-48149 Münster

Phone: +49 (0) 251/8357122
Fax.: +49 (0) 251/8357123

Joined OCC in 2015

Research Project

The role of GABA-ergic inhibitory interneurons in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) networking and oscillation

Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate the role of GABA-ergic interneurons in hippocampus which is a relatively simple cortical structure. These studies suggest that GABA-ergic transmission contribute to modulation of neuronal excitability, controlling the spike timing and inhibition of pyramidal neurons.
Different types of hippocampal inhibitory interneurons control spike initiation and synaptic integration within pyramidal neurons and modulate local network activity, providing proper pathways of information processing. Therefore it has been proposed that in hippocampus, GABA-ergic inhibitory interneurons represent crucial regulating elements for information processing and network activity. Given the essential role of GABA-ergic interneurons in hippocampus by regulating the neuronal activity, an important question will be raised with concerning the involvement of these neurons in modulation of the network in another cortical regions distinctively m-PFC.
The aims of my PhD project: To investigate the expression rate of different subclasses of GABA-ergic interneurons in m-PFC in different layers I-VI and also to Study the intrinsic properties of the dominant subtypes of GABA-ergic interneurons in m-PFC and their role in controlling the pyramidal cell firing pattern.

PhD Committee

Prof. Dr. Weiqi Zhang
Prof. Dr. Sylvia Kaiser
Prof. Dr. Thomas Budde


Saffari, R., Teng, Z., Zhang, M., Kravchenko, M., Hohoff, C., Ambrée, O., & Zhang, W. (2016). NPY+-, but not PV+-GABAergic neurons mediated long-range inhibition from infra-to prelimbic cortex. Translational psychiatry, 6(2), e736.

Conference Contributions

Mykola Kravchenko, Mingyue Zhang, Lisa Reinhardt, Roja Saffari, Weiqi Zhang. (2014). Spironolactone normalized inhibitory-excitatory synaptic balance in brain of mice model for schizophrenia.International Conference of the German neuroscience. Neuro Visionen 10. Jülich, Germany. September 2014


*1980 Tehran, Iran
1998-2002 B.Sc. in Cellular and Molecular Biology (Microbiology)/ Tehran-Iran
2003-2009 Employee as a Microbiologist in Pharmaceutical Company (Tehran-Iran)
2009-2012 Master of Science (Immunology) at Uppsala University/ Uppsala-Sweden
2012-2013 Research assistant (Neuroscience department) At Uppsala University/Uppsala-Sweden
2013 Beginning of PhD research project, Institute of Psychiatry, University of Münster-Germany