Thomas Biederer PhD

Departments & Organizations

Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry: Neurobiology; Biederer LabNeurology


Dr. Thomas Biederer received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany. He later earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Dr. Biederer then moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas to pursue postdoctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Südhof. While at UT Southwestern, he explored synapse formation in the vertebrate central nervous system.

A member of the Yale faculty since 2003, Dr. Biederer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, where his laboratory investigates the molecular basis of synapse formation and organization. Recently, his laboratory identified synaptic cell adhesion molecules (SynCAMs) of the immunoglobulin superfamily, which are sufficient to drive presynaptic differentiation and also promote neurotransmission. The major research focus in Dr. Biederer’s laboratory is on the role of SynCAMs, as well as other novel synaptic adhesion proteins, in the structural organization of synapses by trans-synaptic interactions. Dr. Biederer’s work is strongly motivated by his interests in the biochemical mechanisms underlying the differentiation of neuronal membranes, the neurobiological development and plasticity of neuronal networks in the human brain, as well as the biomedical relevance of altered synapse organization to human neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to a 2009 NARSAD Young Investigator award and a 2008 award from The Dana Foundation’s Program in Brain and Immuno-imaging, Dr. Biederer received a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Foundation in 2005, and a Leadership Chair of Research Award from The Brain Tumor Society in 2004.


  • Ph.D., Humboldt University of Berlin , 1998

Selected Publication

  • Ribic, A., Liu, X., Crair, M.C. and Biederer, T. The organization of photoreceptor ribbon synapses and retinal circuit function involve the synaptic immunoglobulin adhesion protein SynCAM 1. Journal of Comparative Neurology, in press.

Latest Honor and Recognition

  • NARSAD (Natl. Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) Young Investigator Award(2009) , NARSAD