Mission and Vision

Neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases of adulthood such as depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease are highly disabling diseases that place an immense burden on individuals, their families and society.

The mission of the research training group (RTG) is to further the development of prevention and treatment strategies for these diseases through a deeper understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. To fulfill this mission, basic and clinical neuroscientists will combine forces to research the novel key concept that neurodevelopment constitutes a major determinant for the individual’s vulnerability to neuropsychiatric and -degenerative disease in later life. Equally important, the RTG addresses the need to train the next generation of neuroscientists in this important emerging pathophysiological concept.

The members of the RTG envision that the intensive training and research activities will significantly impact on the development of new perspectives for disease prevention and treatment.


Our hard work in 2023 paid off

We congratulate our hardworking GRK2162 members and former members who were able to publish impressive papers last year, such as…

Jessica Aprato, Dr. Maria González Alvarado and Prof. Michael Wegner: Endogenous Sox8 is a critical factor for timely remyelination and oligodendroglial cell repletion in the cuprizone model. Freudenstein D, Lippert M, Popp JS, Aprato J, Wegner M, Sock E, Haase S, Linker RA, González Alvarado MN. Sci Rep. 2023 Dec 14;13(1):22272. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-49476-5. PMID: 38097655

Nicholas Chalmers, Eva Masouti and PD Ruth Beckervordersandforth: Chalmers N, Masouti E, Beckervordersandforth R. Astrocytes in the adult dentate gyrus-balance between adult and developmental tasks. Mol Psychiatry. 2024 Jan 4. doi: 10.1038/s41380-023-02386-4. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38177351.

Prof. Kristian Franze: Pillai EK, Franze K. Mechanics in the nervous system: From development to disease. Neuron. 2023 Nov 8:S0896-6273(23)00759-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.10.005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37967561.

Dr. Lisa Hassel, Dr. Melanie Küspert and Prof. Michael Wegner: Differential activity of transcription factor Sox9 in early and adult oligodendroglial progenitor cells. Hassel LA, Fröb F, Küspert M, Hillgärtner S, Arnold P, Huang W, Kirchhoff F, Wegner M. Glia. 2023 Aug;71(8):1890-1905. doi: 10.1002/glia.24373. Epub 2023 Apr 5. PMID: 37017184

Dr. Lisa Mészáros, Yanni Schneider and Prof. Jürgen Winkler: Mészáros L, Himmler M, Schneider Y, Arnold P, Dörje F, Schubert DW, Winkler J. Sobetirome rescues α-synuclein-mediated demyelination in an in vitro model of multiple system atrophy. Eur J Neurosci. 2024 Jan;59(2):308-315. doi: 10.1111/ejn.16215. Epub 2023 Dec 12. PMID: 38086536.

Yanni Schneider, Dr. Jana Hoffmann, Nicholas Chalmers, Prof. Veit Rothammer, PD Ruth Beckervordersandforth and Prof. Jürgen Winkler: Schneider, Y., Gauer, C., Andert, M. et al. Distinct forebrain regions define a dichotomous astrocytic profile in multiple system atrophy. acta neuropathol commun 12, 1 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40478-023-01699-3

Dr. Patrick Süß: Sankowski R, Süß P, Benkendorff A, Böttcher C, Fernandez-Zapata C, Chhatbar C, Cahueau J, Monaco G, Gasull AD, Khavaran A, Grauvogel J, Scheiwe C, Shah MJ, Heiland DH, Schnell O, Markfeld-Erol F, Kunze M, Zeiser R, Priller J, Prinz M. Multiomic spatial landscape of innate immune cells at human central nervous system borders. Nat Med. 2024 Jan;30(1):186-198. doi: 10.1038/s41591-023-02673-1. Epub 2023 Dec 20. PMID: 38123840; PMCID: PMC10803260.


2nd International Symposium 4th – 6th of October 2022

We are delighted to announce our Second International Symposium “Developmental Processes in CNS Plasticity and Pathogenesis” from 4th – 6th of October 2022 at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Science of Light. Here you can find our final program, the abstract booklet and the poster.



Open PhD positions – apply now!

We regularly offer PhD student positions for highly motivated, talented students . If you want to know more about the PIs and their research foci, please refer to their profile in the section “faculty“.

Participants will be intensively guided by an interdisciplinary team of experts in basic, clinical and translational neuroscience. Our curriculum is tailored to train young researchers in innovative concepts and key scientific skills to prepare them for their career.


More Information about the application process under “application and selection“.



To our latest graduates L. Hassel, L. Mészáros,  and A. Brendler, who successfully defended their thesis and completed the programme. Find all graduates here.

MD thesis stipends – apply now!

Are you a highly motivated medical student interested in performing your thesis in one of the GRK2162 laboratories?

Then find your favorite working group (“Faculty“), ask for an open position and apply with your future supervisor for a 8-months stipend.

Please find more Information about the application process under “application and selection“.