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Laying the foundations for tomorrow's medicine

News

  • Neurodegenerative diseases: the seed must fall on fertile ground

    In many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, the propagation and spreading of misfolded proteins in the nervous system has been linked to the progression of the disease. In a recent review article in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Professor Dr. Mathias Jucker at the HIH and Professor Dr. Lary Walker at the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA, argue that this spreading is conceptually similar to metastic cancer. “The difference is that in degenerative brain disorders, there are misfolded proteins that  proliferate rather than transformed cells,” Jucker says. As in the case of cancer cells, the spreading of misfolded proteins and thus disease progression depends on both the misfolded protein (seed) and the host milieu – the soil. “The seed must fall on fertile ground for the development and progression of the disease. Itis therefore essential to understand both the pathogen and its environment to develop treatment strategies.”

  • Animal research: Tübingen researcher awarded for new complementary method

    Dr. Niklas Schwarz from the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, the University and the University Hospital Tübingen has been presented with the award "Ersatz und Ergänzungsmethoden zum Tierversuch" of the State of Baden-Württemberg for the development of a method that allows scientists to investigate human brain tissue in the Petri dish over several weeks. The new method answers some of the questions about human brain tissue which used to require animal experiments. For instance, it simplifies tests to find out whether human brain tissue can tolerate new drugs. Since its introduction to the scientific community a year ago, several laboratories around the world have started to successfully apply the Tübingen method. The award ceremony took place on October 25, 2018 at the Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection in Stuttgart. Schwarz will use the prize money of 25,000 Euros for future studies.

    … more info (in German only)

  • Ten-million euro ERC Synergy Grant for new therapeutic brain stimulation project involving Tübingen researchers

    “We aim to revolutionize non-invasive therapeutic brain stimulation.” That is the goal set by Professor Dr. Ulf Ziemann and his team at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, the University Hospital and the University of Tübingen. Working with colleagues at Aalto University in Finland and in Italy at the Chieti-Pescara Gabriele d’Annunzio University, Ziemann is developing a helmet which is capable of stimulating any part of the cerebral cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Timing of stimulation is coupled to the brain’s current state of activity. That link allows magnetic stimulation to alter the connection between brain areas especially effectively – easing brain network diseases such as strokes, depression and Alzheimer’s. The project, called “ConnectToBrain,” has earned the scientists research funding of ten million euros from the European Research Council, in the form of a Synergy Grant. The ERC announced its Synergy Grants today. 

    … more info 

  • Two HIH neuroscientists receive Attempto Award 2018

    The Attempto Award of the Tübingen Attempto Foundation will go to two young scientists at the HIH this year. They are each endowed with 10,000 Euros.

    Dr. Leonid Fedorov is honored for his work on the representation of social actions in the brain. His experiments showed that the neural processes responsible for recognizing individual actions (such as to give) are also activated by the counterpart (here: to take). The result may be interesting for the study of social disorders such as autism but also for robotics. 

    Ann-Christin Wendeln is honored for her publication on the influence of the immune memory in the brain on neurological disorders. She showed that inflammatory reactions can change microglia in the brain over the long term. The cells thus possess an ‘immunological memory’, that may influence the course of later occurring neurological diseases.

     

     

  • Sensory perception is not a one-way street

    When we interact with the world, such as when we reach out to touch an object, the brain actively changes incoming sensory signals based on anticipation. This so-called ‘sensory gating’ has now been investigated by neuroscientists at the HIH and the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscienceat the University of Tübingen. In rats touching objects with their whiskers, they found that these touch signals from active sensory perception were reduced by gating signals from higher brain areas. This way, sensory perception may be shaped by expectations generated in the higher brain. Such anticipatory signals could have important implications in understanding sensory hallucinations such as those encountered in schizophrenia. The study has been published in Nature Communications.

    ... more info

  • New independent research group at the HIH

    How do messenger substances, so-called neurotransmitters, control the development and evolution of the cerebral cortex? This is the question Dr. Simone Mayer addresses in her research. Since September 2018 she heads the independent research group “Molecular Brain Development” at the HIH. In her work, she compares various mammalian species and uses a variety of cell biological, biochemical and bioinformatic methods. In addition to the basic mechanisms, she is interested in how disorders in these messenger systems may promote brain diseases. “Neocortical networks are at the heart of human cognition, but their high complexity may have contributed to the evolutionary emergence of various psychiatric and neurological disorders,” explains Mayer. Since neurotransmitters are targeted by various drugs, her research also sheds light on the risk and potential to influence brain development during pregnancy.

    ... read more about her research group

Departments

  • Neurology and Stroke

    The Department of Neurology and Stroke has the main focuses in neurovascular medicine (vessel diseases of the brain, cerebral stroke), neuro-oncology (brain tumors, brain metastases), neuro-immunology (e.g., multiple sclerosis) and neuro-intensive medicine. ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    The Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases treats in-patients on a ward of about 20 beds and in several out-patient clinics. The clinical focus lies on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, the ataxias, spastic paraplegias, and dementias. ...more information

  • Neurology and Epileptology

    The Department of Neurology and Epileptology has a focus on epilepsy and other paroxysmal neurological disorders. In these diseases, the excitability of nerve cells temporarily changes either due to genetic or acquired defects. ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    The Department of Cognitive Neurology provides consultant and outpatient neuropsychological care. Another clinical focus is the treatment of chronic dizziness in the interdisciplinary dizziness center “Südwestdeutsches Schwindelzentrum” operated in conjunction ..more information

  • Cellular Neurology

    The focus of the Department of Cellular Neurology lies on cellular and molecular mechanisms in the aging brain and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Special emphasis is placed on Alzheimer's disease, the most common and severe form of senile dementia. ...more information

  • Independent Research Groups

    The independent research group at the HIH focuses on the physiology of learning and memory ...more information

Research groups

  • Neurology and Stroke

    Brain Networks and Plasticity

    The human brain possesses the remarkable capacity of reorganization, which is the basis for adapting to constantly changing environmental conditions. This plasticity is of paramount importance ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Neuropsychology of Action

    The Research Group "Neuropsychology of Action" is dedicated to investigations of human action control. We study clinical impairments of action control and their neural substrates in patients with brain damage ...more information

  • Cellular Neurology

    Experimental Neuroimmunology

    An immune response is part of most neurological diseases, and the development of late-onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD) has been linked to immune related genes and most recently also to epigenetic modifications. ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Genetics of Parkinson's disease

    Parkinson's syndrome (PS) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's dementia. The vast majority of patients are ill with no apparent cause. ...more information

  • Cellular Neurology

    Section for Dementia Research

    The Section for Dementia Research of the Department of Cellular Neurology and the University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy is headed by Prof. Dr. Christoph Laske. The section consists ...more information

  • Neurology and Epileptology

    Clinical Genetics of Paroxysmal Neurological Diseases

    Paroxysmal neurological disorders include a broad spectrum of clinical entities such as migraine, episodic ataxia or myotonia. The research group is focussed on the clinical genetics ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Neuro-Vestibular Diagnostics

    The complaint of dizziness is highly prevalent but remains often an enigma to the physician in daily practice. Serious diseases potentially accompanied by dizziness like stroke, multiple sclerosis ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Oculomotor Laboratory

    Playing video-games is a widely distributed leisure activity in our society. In order to estimate the consequences of video-game play, we study the details of eye movements and pupil light responses ... more information

  • Cellular Neurology

    Experimental Neuropathology

    Cerebral proteopathy is a unifying term for cerebral neurodegenerative diseases in which aggregated proteins are abnormally deposited in the brain. The hallmark proteopathy is Alzheimer's disease (AD) ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Functional Neurogenomics

    Neurodegenerative disorders are associated in a proportion of cases with genetic risk and gene mutations. However, the vast majority of cases of Parkinson’s disease are sporadic and the disease is altogether heterogeneous in symptoms and pathology. ...more information

  • Independent Research Group

    Molecular Brain Development

    The mammalian neocortex is a highly complex and spatially heterogeneous structure, which has expanded significantly in mammalian evolution. Neocortical network function is at the heart of cognitive function ...more info

Research groups

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Clinical Parkinson's Disease Research

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most frequent neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease and affects about 1 to 2 % of individuals over the age of 65. The number is steadily increasing due to demographic changes in Western countries. ...more information

  • Cellular Neurology

    Molecular Imaging

    The Molecular Imaging group focuses on the visualization of Alzheimer's disease (AD) related changes in the brain of mouse models using in vivo multiphoton microscopy. A solid knowledge of the dynamics of amyloid lesions and ...more information

  • Neurology and Stroke

    Molecular Neurooncology

    Three to five of 100.000 people are annually diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM), the most malignant brain tumor in adults. Despite aggressive multimodal treatment including surgical resection and ...more information

  • Cellular Neurology

    Fluid Disease Biomarkers

    Processes related to Alzheimer ́s disease (AD) and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases start many years before the onset of the first clinical symptoms. At the moment of the first clinical complaints, the disease has already caused ...more information

  • Neurology and Stroke

    Interdisciplinary Section of Neuro-Oncology

    The projects of the lab are focusing on the biology of brain tumors, especially with targeted individualized therapies, molecular mechanisms in the development of resistance and cell based therapy approaches ...more information

  • Neurology and Epileptology

    Translational Imaging

    The focus of our research group is the structural and functional imaging of neurological diseases with a particular focus on epileptology. We use multi-modal imaging techniques to improve the understanding of disease development ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Dystonia

    Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder, and mutations in a growing number of genes have been identified as causes for hereditary forms in many cases. The aim of the group, which brings together clinical experience ...more information

  • Neurology and Stroke

    Neurophonetics and Translational Neurorehabilitation

    The work group Neurophonetics and Translational Neurorehabilitation is based on a cooperation between the University of Tübingen and a neurological rehabilitation clinic (Fachkliniken Hohenurach). ...more information

  • Neurology and Stroke

    Stroke and Neuroprotection

    The research focus of our Stroke and Neuroprotection Laboratory is to find new and to optimize existing neuroprotective strategies ...more information

  • Neurology and Epileptology

    Experimental Epileptology

    Our research group is interested to unravel the mechanisms of well defined, mainly genetic, neurological, paroxysmal diseases, to understand correlations with clinical symptoms and to find new treatment options. ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Active Perception Lab

    Humans are tremendously reliant on the sense of vision to interact with their environment. Such interaction often involves the generation of motor outputs ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Mitochondrial Biology of Parkinson’s Disease

    Neurodegenerative disorders are associated in a proportion of cases with genetic risk and gene mutations. However, the vast majority …more info

Research groups

  • Neurology and Epileptology

    Migraines and Primary Headache Disorders

    Our group aims at unraveling the molecular pathophysiology of migraine and other primary headache disorders. ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Section for Clinical Neurogenetics

    Neurogenetic diseases like cerebellar ataxia, hereditary spastic paraplegia and leukodystrophy are rare disorders. ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Systems Neurodegeneration

    Our research focuses on the investigation of the genetic basis, systems neuroscience and paradigmatic therapy approaches in ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Sensorimotor Lab

    The lab addresses a variety of topics that, at first glance, may look disparate. Yet, there is a common denominator ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Genomic of Rare Movement Disorders

    Our group specializes in rare diseases. A disease is called rare, when it affects no more than 5 of 100,000 people. However, in the grand-scheme of things, rare diseases are not quite so rare ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Section for Computational Sensomotorics

    The Section for Computational Sensomotorics investigates theoretical principles in the perception and control of motor actions. Research is organized around three main topics ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Genetics and Epigenetics of Neurodegeneration

    The recent advances in high-throughput genomic technologies have provided an unprecedented amount of genotype, expression and epigenetic data for many human disorders. ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Section for Neuropsychology

    The Section for Neuropsychology focuses on the investigation of spatial cognition and object recognition in humans. The current issues of our work comprise the action control and sensorimotor coordination ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Functional Neurogenetics

    Age-related neurodegenerative diseases are a severe and increasingly worrisome burden for our aging population. Most of the chronic neurodegenerative diseases ...more information

  • Independent Research Groups

    Learning and Memory

    All organisms continuously have to adapt their behavior according to changes in the environment in order to survive. This is particularly important when learning to predict threatening or dangerous situations. ...more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Systems Neurophysiology Lab

    The overarching goal of our work is to understand the operating principles of the neocortex, a unique brain structure, which mainly evolved in mammals. There is clear evidence that the neocortex, in the broadest sense, endows the subject with cognitive capabilities. ...more information

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Deep Brain Stimulation

    The working group aims to uncover mechanisms of action of deep brain stimulation therapy and to translate the pathophysiological insights into future developments. …more information

  • Cognitive Neurology

    Motor Control Modeling

    The research group „Multi-Level Modeling in Motor Control and Rehabilitation Robotics“ focuses on the generation and control of active biological movements. We develop ...more information

FAZ "Das Zittern hat eine Geschichte" (17.05.2017)
Press article by Prof. Dr. Thomas Gasser (in German)

FAZ "Warum wir Alzheimer immer noch nicht heilen können" (01.02.2017)
Press article by Prof. Dr. Mathias Jucker (in German)

Events
-Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium der Neurologischen Klinik

17:00 h

Location: CRONA Kursraum 420-4-221

Programm

-Neurocolloquium 18:15 h Giulio Ruffini (Starlab, Barcelona; Haskins Lab., Yale Univ.)
Opportunities and challenges for multichannel transcranial brain stimulation
Location: Children's Hospital, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 1, Ebene C3, Lecture Hall
-Neurobiologisches Montagskolloquium 18:00 h Thomas Elston (Institut für Neurobiologie, Tierphysiologie, Universität Tübingen)
Adaptive motivational signals in the anterior cingulate cortex and ventral tegmental area
Location: HIH, Seminar Room 2.310

An exemplary connection between research and clinical care

The German Council of Science and Humanities recognizes the performance and academic excellence of theHertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research. The recommendation of the council is an excellent basis for the further development of the HIH. 

Press release by the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat)

Press release by the HIH