Age-associated Diseases


Neurodegenerative diseases are the most prevalent diseases associated with ageing. We explore several different molecular mechanisms contributing to neurodegeneration by spanning a wide methodological range from molecular structures to cognitive parameters in animal models.


  • Alzheimer´s disease (Görlach, Greulich, Fändrich*, Kaether, Than)
    structure and function of APP, of γ-secretase-like proteinases and of the presumed signalling complex between APP and Fe65; formation, structure and toxicity of Aβ oligomers and fibrils; role of axonal transport in AD; assembly and transport of γ-secretase; generation of conformation-specific Aβ antibodies
  • Impact of thyroid hormones on neuronal function (Heuer)
    role of thyroid hormones in neuronal development and survival; analysis of mice mutants deficient in thyroid hormone transporters such as MCT8
  • Myotonic dystrophy and Huntington´s disease (Görlach, Schilling)
    structural analyses of a triplet repeat, causing myotonic dystrophy, by magic-angle-spinning solid state NMR spectroscopy; identification and inhibition of the protease that promotes aggregation of huntingtin through cleavage in a novel recognition site
  • Neurodegeneration associated with DNA repair defects (Wang, Görlach)
    impact of mutations in DNA repair genes on brain functions using mouse models; structural analysis of a DNA repair enzyme
  • Neurological and cognitive parameters in fish models (Cellerino)
    influence of genetic factors and small molecules
  • NF-κB in neurodegeneration and neuroprotection (Weih)
    role of NF-κB transcription factors in exerting negative and positive effects in the nervous system; analyses of ischemic neurodegeneration and axonal regeneration in NF-κB mouse mutants; identification of pro-apoptotic/neuroprotective responses after injury
  • Ras signaling in neurons (Morrison)
    role of Ras and Ras-like proteins in various neuronal functions including synaptic structure and plasticity as well as the cellular and molecular basis for learning and memory

* former group


disease Support Senescence Diseases Neurodegeneration Metabolic syndrom Impaired tissue homeostasis Genomic variability Cancer


Last update: March 20, 2008