Our research interests focus on molecular mechanisms that modulate cellular excitability and their effects on structure and function of neurons and neuronal circuits. Potassium channels are key molecules in such processes and especially inward rectifying and two-pore domain K+ channels substantially contribute to the resting membrane potential, as they are open at negative voltages. We have identified and characterized diverse members of these K+ channel subfamilies and mainly contributed to the discovery of K2P channels that are regulated by the plethora of sensory and modulatory stimuli, such as temperature, pressure, anesthetics, protons and neurotransmitters. Activation or inhibition of these channels are effective approaches to investigate the influence of excitability on neuronal function and development, which include synapse formation, axon outgrowth, gene expression and protein targeting. We apply recombinant systems, primary cultures and brain slices as well as imaging techniques to address these questions.