The Department is headed by Professor Mathias Jucker and was founded in 2003. The research focus is on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases with a special emphasis on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer´s disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Alzheimer's disease is the most frequently occuring age-related dementia with more than 1 million people affected in Germany. It was in Tübingen that Alois Alzheimer described the disease in 1906 for the first time to his colleagues. On this occasion, the Department of Cellular Neurology organized the centennial in Tuebingen in 2006 (Alzheimer: 100 Years and Beyond).
Currently our department is composed of four research groups and one core unit: The group of Molecular Biology studies the processing and metabolism of the pathogenic proteins that are involved in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The Neuropathology group uses primarely transgenic mouse models to study the pathomechanisms of Alzheimer´s disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathies. The Neuroimmunology group works on aspects of innate immunity in the aging brain and neurodegenerative diseases with a special focus on therapy. Finally, the group of Molecular Imaging studies how Alzheimer´s disease lesions and neurodegeneration develops over time using in-vivo multiphoton microscopy. The core unit supports the department primarily with mouse genotyping, ELISA measurements, and other technical and administrative support. A mini-department for our little ones, i. e. a playroom, has recently been added.
Our department hosts scientists from more than 10 nations ranging from short-term fellows, diploma students, PhD andMD students to postdocs and group leaders. The department includes two open W3 professor positions that will be filled in the coming years through recruitment of group leaders into tenure-track positions and recruitment of more clinically oriented scientists to strengthen the bridge from our basic and preclinical research towards clinical applications. The goal is to build a department with expertise in brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative disease that is extramurally highly competitive and intramurally socially attractive for coworkers.