Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Group Description

Brief description of legal entity
In 2008 the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) decided to fund a Clinical Research Group entitled Innate Immunity in Chronic Neurodegeneration (Klinische Forschergruppe 177, at the University of Bonn, after a competitive, 2-step evaluation by an international review board. This group is entirely focussing on basic mechanisms of innate immunitiy in the CNS. The main topics include Alzheimer`s disease (AD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis. Meeting a DFG request, the University of Bonn Medical Faculty founded a Clinical Neuroscience Unit (CNU) at the Department of Neurology headed by Prof. Michael T. Heneka, who`s main task is to investigate disease mechanisms and identify drugable targets for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease. Next to basic scientists, the CNU is also home to clinicians, study nurses and neuropsychologists, who design and perform investigator initiated studies. Attached to the CNU, the Depts. of Neurology and Psychiatry are jointly running an outpatient unit (Klinisches Behandlungs und Forschungszentrum, KBFZ) which is also headed by Prof. Michael T. Heneka ( Here patients with neurodegenerative disease are being treated, with a special emphasis on the early phase of the respective disorders and interventional approaches.

Main tasks
The CNU focuses on new molecular pathways underlying AD pathogenesis and other neurodegenerative disorders. Approaches include genetic, molecular and protein based strategies to interfere with disease development and progression using various in vitro and in vivo models. An important application comprises the characterisation of neuron-microglia interaction by in vivo multi-photon laser microscopy in murine models of AD, allowing for longitudinal analysis in individual animals.

Participation in INMiND: WP1 / WP2 / WP6 / WP12

Previous experience relevant to INMiND tasks

Development and investigation of several murine models of neurodegenerative disease including AD, PD, ALS, MS and septic encephalopathy. Modulation of cerebral innate immunity through genetic or pharmacological manipulation of exogenous or endogenous pro- and anti-inflammatory agents. Major techniques include microglial imaging techniques and functional analysis (e.g. migration and phagocytosis, ROS production, cytokine release) in vitro and in vivo, behavioural analysis of memory and cognition, synaptic plasticity, synaptosome analysis.

University Bonn Medical Centre
Prof Michael HENEKA
INMiND Office
European Institute for Molecular Imaging (EIMI) Waldeyerstr. 15
· 48149 Münster
Tel: +49 251 83 49300 · Fax: +49 251 83 49313