Prof. Dr. Ileana Hanganu-Opatz


E-mail: hangop [at]
Phone: +49 (0) 40 7410 58966
Download Curriculum Vitae


Ileana L. Hanganu-Opatz leads the Research Unit „Developmental Neurophysiology“ at the Institute of Neuroanatomy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. She coordinates the Priority Program 1665 “Resolving and manipulating neuronal networks in the mammalian brain” and is member of the Executive Boards of the Collaborative Research Center 936 and Hamburg Center of Neuroscience. Ileana was trained as biochemist and biologist at the University of Bucharest and performed the experimental part of diploma thesis with Prof. Jürgen Schwarz at UKE. She started the investigation of developing neuronal networks during a PhD in the lab of Prof. Heiko Luhmann at University of Düsseldorf and deepened the research of activity-dependent wiring of the brain during a postdoctoral training together with Prof. Yezekhiel Ben-Ari at INMED Marseille.

Career support and science policy

Ileana Hanganu-Opatz actively supports the career development of young scientists. As member of the Committee for Higher Education and Training (CHET) of FENS, she contributes to establishment of large-scale training programs that optimally fit the needs of next-generation scientists. As member of the FENS Kavli Network of Excellence, Ileana initiated a series of educational events at European level to coach the future principal investigators. Ileana is involved in science policy initiatives at national (e.g. advisor of Science Council) and international level (e.g. German-Japanese Program Leaders of Tomorrow). She considers as one major priority the establishment by governmental decisions of an attractive framework for science and scientists in the future.

Scientific achievements

Since almost two decades, Ileana Hanganu-Opatz investigates the mechanisms that control the maturation of neuronal networks involved in sensory and cognitive processing. She has published several papers in high-impact scientific journals, such as Nature, Neuron, Nature Communications, PLOS Biology. Ileana received prestigious early and mid-career fellowships (Emmy-Noether Fellowship, ERC Consolidator Grant). During the last 10 years, she was awarded 7 million Euro in research funding. Ileana has been invited to give numerous lectures at national and international meetings and organized symposia and workshops.