Caesar is a neuroscience research institute associated with the Max Planck Society. The institute is operated by a non-profit foundation under private law.

Board of Directors

Dr. Jason Kerr

Dr. Jason Kerr

Since September 2013, Dr. Jason Kerr is director of the Department Behavior and Brain Organization. Since September 2015, he is currently the managing director of caesar.

Jason Kerr was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1970. From 1989 onward, he initially studied human anatomy at the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand, graduating with a BSc in 1994, followed by a DipSci in human anatomy in 1995. He remained at Otago University, carrying out research until 1999, when he was awarded a doctorate in neurophysiology. Thereafter he held two post-doc positions, first from 1999 to late 2003 at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and then until 2005 at the MPI for Medical Research in Heidelberg. Dr. Kerr continued to work as project leader until 2006 in the department headed by Bert Sakmann, before taking up the post of leader of the Network Imaging Group at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen. In addition to becoming Director and head of the Department of Behavior and Brain Organization at the caesar research center, Jason Kerr is also an appointed Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and a member of the MPI for Metabolism Research, Cologne. The long-term goal of Dr. Kerr’s research is to understand how mammals use their vision to make decisions and the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie this process.


Assistant: Ruth Pohle
Phone: +49-228-9656-113
Email: jason.kerr@caesar.de

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Dr. Kevin Briggman

Dr. Kevin Briggman

Since June 2017, Dr. Kevin Briggman is director of the Department of Computational Neuroethology.

Dr. Briggman was originally trained as an electrical engineer at Case Western Reserve University in  Cleveland, USA. As part of his undergraduate curriculum, he studied computational neuroscience and developed an appreciation for the complexity of brain circuits compared to electrical circuits. He decided to pursue graduate studies in computational neurobiology at the University of California, San Diego, USA, earning his doctorate in 2005, and then became a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany from 2005 to 2011. From 2011 to 2017, he led an independent research group as an Investigator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA. In addition to becoming Director and head of the Department of Computational Neuroethology at the caesar research center, Kevin Briggman is also an appointed Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and a member of the MPI for Metabolism Research, Cologne.

Dr. Briggman’s research is based on an interdisciplinary approach which encompasses behavioral analysis, cellular resolution imaging of neuronal populations, 3D electron microscopy and computational modelling to understand how circuits in the nervous system control animal behavior. The long-term goal of the Department of Computational Neuroethology is to develop models of neural circuits which take into account behavioral variability. Such models should ultimately serve to predict a certain behavioral outcome from the neuronal activity pattern observed in an animal’s brain.



Assistant: Sabine Winkler
Phone: +49-228-9656-117
Email: kevin.briggman@caesar.de

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

 Gertrud Bilski

Gertrud Bilski

Since November 1st, 2009, Ms. Gertrud Bilski is Administrative Managing Director and member of the Executive Board of caesar.

After having gained professional experience in medical-technical and commercial professions, Ms. Bilski studied business management in Bonn and received her diploma in economics in 1998.Subsequent to her studies she worked for several years as commercial manager for a start-up company in the medical devices sector. From 2003 until joining caesar, Bilski worked as head of administration at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, known for its radio telescopes in Effelsberg and Chile. The focal points of her work at caesar are the management of the commercial departments and institute’s infrastructure, as well as the asset management. Bilski is a member of the International Relations and Science Committee of the city of Bonn and actively engaged on different committees promoting Bonn as a renowned scientific location.


Assistant: Robert Schleuter
Phone: +49-228-9656-181
Email: gertrud.bilski@caesar.de