Principal investigators of the Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research (CGA) are internationally recognized scientists known for their cutting edge research into diverse topics including genetic determinants of longevity, protein quality control, DNA damage and repair, mitochondria regulation, immunosenescence and inflammation, stem cell and tissue maintenance, organellar and cellular architecture, endocrine control of metabolism, as well as their research into age-related diseases such as neurodegeneration, cancer, diabetes, obesity, kidney dysfunction. Close links between the research groups foster interdisciplinary collaboration and promote the development of novel research approaches.

The laboratories use diverse model systems - from bacteria, yeast, worms, and flies, to fish, mice, cultured cells, and human clinical samples - to delve into basic mechanistic questions. Core facilities provide on-campus platforms for performing genomics, proteomics, lipidomics, imaging, cell sorting, metabolic profiling and phenotyping.

Principal Investigators and their Research Areas

Prof. Dr. Adam Antebi

Managing Director MPI for Biology of Ageing
Molecular Genetics of Ageing

Dr. Hisham Bazzi

CECAD Junior Group
Cytoskeletal organizers in mammalian development and homeostasis

Prof. Dr. Thomas Benzing

Director of Department II of Internal Medicine and Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne
Kidney Research

Prof. Matteo Bergami

CECAD Junior Group
Mechanisms of neuronal de- and regeneration

Prof. Dr. Andreas Beyer

Professor for Systems Biology at the University of Cologne
Cellular networks and systems biology

Prof. Dr. Jens Brüning

CECAD Coordinator, Head of Research Area F, Managing Director of MPI for Metabolism Research
Neuronal control of metabolism and ageing

Prof. Dr. Oliver Cornely

CECAD Head of Platform C
Translation of clinical research findings into practical applications

Dr. Constantinos Demetriades

MPI for Biology of Ageing
Cell Growth control in Health and age-related Disease

Dr. Martin Denzel

MPI for Biology of Ageing
Metabolic and Genetic Regulation of Ageing

Dr. Mafalda Escobar-Henriques

CECAD Junior Group
Mitochondrial dynamics in health and disease

Dr. Martin Graef

MPI for Biology of Ageing
Effectors and Regulation of Autophagy during Ageing

Prof. Dr. Michael Hallek

Department for Internal Medicine I and CIO
Identification of therapeutic potential for the treatment of immunologic disorders and hematologic malignancies

Prof. Dr. Matthias Hammerschmidt

Cologne Biocenter, Institute of Developmental Biology
Regulators of obesity or anorexia in zebrafish

Dr. Hans Christian Hennies

Cologne Center for Genomics, Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne
Mechanisms of ageing in genetic skin and connective tissue diseases

Dr. Marco Herling

Department of Internal Medicine I
Aberrant signaling in malignant lymphocyte

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hoppe

CECAD Head of Research Area B, Institute for Genetics 
Proteostasis in Development and Ageing

Dr. Sandra Iden

CECAD, Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC)
Cell Polarity in Tissue Homeostasis and Cancer

Dr. Hamid Kashkar

Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene (IMMIH)
Cell Death and Immunity

Prof. Dr. Peter Kloppenburg

Cologne Biocenter, Zoological Institute
Analysis of biophysical parameters and cellular mechanisms controlling energy homeostasis

Dr. Natalia Kononenko

CECAD Junior Group
Molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration

Prof. Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld

MPI for Metabolism Research/ University of Southern Denmark
Noncoding RNAs and Energy Homeostasis

Dr. Tatiana Korotkova

MPI for Metabolism Research
Neuronal circuits and behaviour

Prof. Dr. Thomas Krieg

Department of Dermatology
Development of innovative treatments of disturbed wound-healing processes and skin cancer

Prof. Dr. Martin Krönke

CECAD Head of Research Area D, Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene (IMMIH) 
Altered signaling functions of the aged membrane

Prof. Dr. Marcus Krüger

CECAD, Institute for Genetics
Quantitative Proteomic, Enrichment of PTMs in animal models

Dr. Leo Kurian

Independent group leader (NRW stem cell network), Institute for Neurophysiology, Center for Molecular Medicine and CECAD
Long non-coding RNAs in programming and reprogramming cellular identities during development, regeneration and ageing

Prof. Dr. Thomas Langer

Director MPI for Biology of Ageing
Mitochondrial Proteostasis

Prof. Dr. Nils-Göran Larsson

Director MPI for Biology of Ageing
Mitochondrial dysfunction in ageing and disease

Prof. Dr. Maria Leptin

Institute of Genetics and European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg
Morphogenesis and cell shape determination Inflammation and innate immunity in zebrafish

Dr. Ivan Matic

MPI for Biology of Ageing; CECAD Junior Research Group
Proteomics of post-translational modifications

Prof. Dr. Carien Niessen

CECAD Head of Platform for Education, Career Development and Gender Equality Programs
Cell architecture in tissue homeostasis, ageing and disease

Prof. Dr. Peter Nürnberg

Cologne Center for Genomics
Investigation of the pathology of DC and processes of abnormal fibroblast differentiation

Prof. Dr. Linda Partridge

Director MPI for Biology of Ageing
Biological Mechanisms of Ageing

Prof. Manolis Pasparakis

CECAD Head of Research Area E, Institute for Genetics 
Cell death and inflammation in tissue homeostasis and disease

Prof. Dr. Mats Paulsson

Institute for Biochemistry II 
Biological Functions of the Extracellular Matrix

Dr. Lena Pernas

MPI for Biology of Ageing
Metabolism of Infection

Prof. Dr. Christian Reinhardt

CECAD Head of Research Area C, Department of Internal Medicine I, Division I, Hematology/Oncology 
Targeting the DNA damage response for personalized cancer therapy

Prof. Dr. Elena Rugarli

Institute for Genetics
Pathogenic Mechanisms of Axonal Degeneration

Prof. Bernhard Schermer

Head of Nephrolab Cologne
Kidney Research

Prof. Dr. Björn Schumacher

Chair for Genome Stability in Ageing and Disease
DNA Damage and Ageing

Prof. Dr. Günter Schwarz

Chair in Biochemistry
Biochemical and Cellular Neuroscience

Dr. Sophie Steculorum

MPI for Metabolism Research
Neuronal Control of Brain Metabolism
further information will follow soon

Dr. Philipp Steven

Zentrum für Augenheilkunde
Therapeutic approaches of defects caused by dry-eye disease

Dr. James Stewart

MPI for Biology of Ageing
Genome Evolution and Ageing

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Stoffel

Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne
researching the systemic and/or cell specific role of phospholipids substituted with mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) in cell membrane organization and function

Dr. Marc Tittgemeyer

Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research
Neuronal Control of Metabolism, Human Neuroimaging, Translational & Computational Neuroscience

Prof. Dr. Achim Tresch

Institute of Medical Statistics and Computational Biology
RNA metabolism, Epigenomics

Prof. Dr. Aleksandra Trifunovic

Institute for Mitochondrial Diseases and Ageing / Medical Faculty
Understanding the role of mitochondrial (dys)function in the determination of longevity

Prof. Dr. Mirka Uhlirova

Institute for Genetics
Stress signalling development and disease

Dr. Dario Riccardo Valenzano

MPI for Biology of Ageing
Evolutionary and Experimental Biology of Ageing

Dr. David Vilchez

CECAD Junior Group
Proteostasis of Ageing and Stem Cells

Dr. Silvia von Karstedt

CECAD Junior Group
Cell Death and Cancer Evolution

Prof. Dr. Dagmar Wachten

Institute of Innate Immunity/ caesar
Molecular mechanisms underlying physiological functions in health and disease

Prof. Dr. Sara Wickström

MPI for Biology of Ageing/ Helsinki Institiute of Life Science
Skin Homeostasis and Ageing

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Wiesner

Institute for Vegetative Physiology
Mitochondrial DNA Mutations and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Ageing

PD Dr. Thomas Wunderlich

MPI for Metabolism Research
Mouse genetics and obesity-associated cancer