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Department Molecules - Signaling - Development - Prof. Rüdiger Klein

The Department of Molecules – Signaling – Development at the MPI of Neurobiology (Rüdiger Klein) is interested in understanding the principles of cell-cell communication in the developing and mature nervous system, as well as molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection. In recent years, the group has investigated the functions of endogenous neurotrophic factors and their receptors and explored their potential to prevent neurodegeneration in models of Parkinson’s disease. In the frame of the TOPAG project, we are working with primary neuronal culture models and also developing new mouse models of human diseases to study how protein deposits develop in a living organism, why they are harmful to nerve cells, and which mechanisms are used by the cells to reduce the accumulation of damaged proteins. To reveal the common mechanisms of toxicity induced by different types of aggregates, we compare the aggregates formed by natural neurodegenerative disease-causing proteins and by rationally designed artificial proteins. In addition, we investigate the status of the cellular defense systems in mouse models at different stages of disease.

Group members:

  • Irina Dudanova
    Project group leader
  • Sara Gutierrez Angel
    PhD student
  • Soo Jin Min-Weißenhorn
    Service group leader Transgenic Service
  • Archana Mishra
  • Johanna Neuner
  • Irene Riera Tur
    PhD student
  • Elena Katharina Schulz-Trieglaff
    PhD student

More information:


International ToPAG Symposium on November 20th and 21st, 2017 - Full success!
On November 20th and 21st, ToPAG held its international Symposium on "Toxic Protein Aggregation in Neurodegeneration" at the Max Planck Institutes in Martinsried.
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Weeds in the brain
A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s is the accumulation of toxic protein deposits in the nerve cells of patients. Once these aggregates appear, they begin to proliferate like weeds.
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TOPAG Symposium Toxic protein aggregation in neurodegeneration
November 20/21, 2017, at the MPIB, Martinsried
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Irina Dudanova receives "For Women in Science award"
UNESCO-L'Oréal prize helps excellent female scientists to continue their career while having children.
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2nd ToPAG retreat on Nov. 11/12, 2015 at Seeon/Chiemsee in Upper Bavaria
ToPAG retreat in Seeon discusses project progress
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