The Cologne/Bonn area has emerged as a leading global research centre with a stellar constellation of institutes and scientists dedicated to ageing research. These include the University of Cologne Excellence Cluster on Stress Responses in Ageing-Associated Diseases (CECAD), the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, and the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar), which together comprise the partner institutes of the CGA. Their close proximity maximizes opportunities for interaction and collaboration.
Deciphering the mystery of ageing
Why do organisms age? How can we influence our life span? The overall goal of our research is to uncover the basic causes and processes of ageing. We also strive to understand the nature of longevity and age-related diseases. To do so, we aim to gain fundamental insights into the underlying molecular, physiological and evolutionary mechanisms. At the same time we investigate how the ageing process might be ameliorated with the longterm goal of increasing human health during ageing.
Ageing – an unfavorable aspect of life?
The aim of the Cologne Cluster of Excellence in Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the ageing process and thereby enable new therapies for ageing-associated diseases such as cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders to be developed. CECAD's interdisciplinary approach will reveal cross-over points between traditional research areas, and should help to identify common underlying causes for age-related diseases.
The brain analyses nutrient-related and hormonal signals of the body periphery and controls not only the intake of energy but also coordinately regulates peripheral glucose metabolism. This central nervous control is complex and until now not fully understood. Research at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research (formerly: Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research) is dedicated to deciphering these most intricate neuro-circuits. The researchers use modern technologies of neurocircuitry mapping in transgenic mice (optogenetics, DREADD) as well as multimodal and molecular imaging to describe the basic of intact but also abnormal metabolic regulation. Once neuronal signaling pathways of metabolism are completely understood not only in model organisms, but also in healthy people and patients, new molecular therapies for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity may be developed in the long run.
The Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar) is a research center for neurosciences. Caesar’s research is interdisciplinary, with scientists from the neurosciences, cell biology, biochemistry, and biophysics working together on the topics of cellular signal processing and the neural foundations of animal behavior. Caesar hosts state-of-the-art research facilities, and its scientists employ kinetic methods as well as methods from the fields of microscopy, spectroscopy, and the behavioral sciences.