Thomas Lissek

Profile Thomas Lissek

Scientist, Physician

Short Bio
I'm a scientist and physician. Previously, I have conducted research in molecular neurobiology, biophysics and synthetic biology and have held a fellowship in Translational Neuroscience from the German Research Foundation. I studied medicine at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, Germany and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.

I'm interested in developing technologies to improve human health and in theoretical biology.

Ultrascalable Health Technologies
I work on making healthcare more scalable by making it autonomous, meaning that people can leverage technology to completely care for themselves without a medical doctor.

Reverse engineering natural genomic longevity programs
Certain environmental stimuli, such as exercise, intermittent fasting and cognitive stimulation, can extend health- and lifespans in humans and other animals. I have reverse engineered the underlying molecular programs to inform novel life extension approaches.
Lissek, Preprint, 2022

Engineering the brain
I'm currently devising ways to engineer the brain by creating synthetic neural circuits. This might allow new ways to study the brain and ameliorate brain disorders.
Lissek, Preprint, 2022

Neural substrates of conscioussness
As an undergraduate student, I have leveraged two-photon calcium imaging in living mice to dissect the neural underpinnings of conscioussness. We found that neural networks become more synchronized under anesthesia and that, surprisingly, cortical neurons become more responsive to sensory stimulation.
Lissek et al, Front Cell Neurosc, 2016. Press: MedicalXpress.

Molecular algorithms in reward learning and addiction
For my doctoral work, I have decoded a new molecular algorithm centering on the transcription factor Npas4 that controls how strongly mice react to cocaine. Npas4 does this by controlling several critical cellular parameters in medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens of mice, a brain region which is crucial for reward learning and addiction.
Lissek et al, EMBO Rep, 2021. Press: MedicalXpress.

Neurogenomic computing
I proposed a new concept for biological computation termed neurogenomic computing. It leverages natural and synthetic interfaces between neuronal membranes and the genome.
Lissek, Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol., 2017