Dr. rer. nat., University of Gießen, Germany, 1990
Postdoctoral fellow, University of California, Irvine, 1990 - 1992
Professor of Anatomy, University of Saarland, 1999 - 2001
Appointed 2001 as head of the Department of Anatomy /Neuroanatomy, University of Göttingen
The nervous system is a complex network of billions of neurons building appropriate connections and transmitting the information required. Although the nervous system has a lifelong synaptic plasticity, it is essentially built just once with very little regenerative capacity, meaning that neurons have to survive and function for lifetime. Loss of neurons will eventually lead to functional impairments such as those found in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or ALS patients.
We are interested in the understanding of the regulation of neuronal survival and death. Recent advancements in the field have provided clear evidence that neuronal survival is caused by synergistic actions of neurotrophic factors along with other cytokines most prominently from the TGF-ß superfamily. Synergisms of TGF-ß in combination with neurotrophic factors, like GDNF or NGF, will be studied to establish their role in nervous system development and their therapeutic potential in brain repair. Specifically, we shall investigate such synergisms by utilising mouse mutants to understand the developmental role and by emplying genomic screens to identify new target genes for the establishment of new therapeutic strategies for human neurodegenerative disorders. Furthermore, as growth factors function not only in the decision of neuron survival or death, we shall explore their morphogenetic and differentiation capacities employing the powerful potential of embryonic (ES) and CNS stem cells.
University of Goettingen
Department of Neuroanatomy
phone: +49-551-39 7051
fax: +49-551-39 14016
Krieglstein K, Henheik P, Farkas L, Jaszai J, Galter D, Krohn K and Unsicker K (1998) GDNF requires TGF-ß for establishing its neurotrophic activity. J Neurosci 18: 9822-9834
Schober A, Hertel R, Arumäe U, Farkas L, Jaszai J, Krieglstein K, Saarma M, Unsicker K (1999) GDNF rescues target-deprived spinal cord neurons but requires TGF-ß as co-factor in vivo. J Neurosci 19: 2008-2015
Krieglstein K, Richter S, Farkas L, Schuster N, Dünker N, Oppenheim R W, Unsicker K (2000) Reduction of endogenous transforming growth factor beta prevents ontogenetic neuron death. Nature Neuroscience 3: 1085-1091
Peterziel H, Unsicker K, Krieglstein K (2002) TGFbeta induces GDNF responsiveness in neurons by recruitment of GFRalphal to the plasma membrane. J Cell Biology 159: 157-167
Farkas L, Dünker N, Roussa E, Unsicker K, Krieglstein K (2003) Transforming growth factor- beta(s) are essential for the development of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in vito and in vivo. J Neurosci. 23:5178-5186
v Bohlen und Halbach O, Schober A, Krieglstein K (2004) Genes, proteins, and neurotoxins involved in Parkinson's disease. Prog Neurobiol 73: 151-177