Axel Nimmerjahn

Associate Professor

Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Videos


Curb Your Immune Enthusiasm

Normally when we think of viruses, from the common cold to HIV, we want to boost people’s immunity to fight them. But for scientists who develop therapeutic viruses (to, for example, target cancer cells or correct gene deficiencies) a more important question is: How do we keep people’s natural immune responses at bay? In these cases, an overenthusiastic immune response actually undermines the therapy. Read More »

New Insight Into Pain Sensation

A microscope about the size of a penny is giving scientists a new window into the everyday activity of cells within the spinal cord. The innovative technology revealed that astrocytes—cells in the nervous system that do not conduct electrical signals and were traditionally viewed as merely supportive—unexpectedly react to intense sensation.
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MS, Physics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research/University of Heidelberg, Germany
PhD, Physics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research/University of Heidelberg, Germany
Postdoctoral Fellow, Biology and Applied Physics, Stanford University

Awards & Honors

  • National Institutes of Health Brain Initiative Award, 2017-Present
  • National Institutes of Health Eureka Award, 2013-2018
  • National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, 2012-2017
  • Rita Allen Scholar Award, 2011-2016
  • Whitehall Foundation Award, 2011-2014
  • Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2009
  • Du Bois-Reymond Award of the German Physiologic Society, 2006
  • Otto-Hahn Medal and Award of the Max Planck Society, 2006
  • Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2006
  • Böhringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) Predoctoral Fellowship, 2002-2005