University of Tübingen profile
Tübingen, located in southwestern Germany, is a university town like no other: The city has some 85,000 inhabitants. 35,000 are engaged in research, teaching, or studying. Tübingen’s medieval old town brings history to life. At the same time, many students and researchers from across Germany and around the world give Tübingen an open, cosmopolitan atmosphere. The cafés, restaurants, and shops in town invite you to spend time in these picturesque surroundings. From this town on the Neckar River there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities - The Black Forest and the Swabian Jura hills are not far away.
Innovative, interdisciplinary, international: These three words summarize what makes the University of Tübingen special. Excellent research and teaching are Tübingen’s answer to the challenges of the future in a globalized world. We maintain exchanges with partners around the globe - both at institutions of higher education and at non-university research institutions. Networks and cooperation across faculty and subject boundaries are the pillars of our successful strategy. This is reflected in our good position in international rankings. In addition, we are one of the eleven German universities distinguished with the title of “excellent.”
The University of Tübingen, with its more than 500 years of history, is one of Germany’s oldest. Many great intellectuals have studied and worked in Tübingen - including Kepler, Hegel, Hölderlin, and Schelling. The genius loci - the spirit of the place - is now stronger than ever.
For many years the field of neuroscience has been one of the main research focus areas at the University of Tübingen. Tübingen's excellence and expertise in the neurosciences is also recognized at the international level. The Center for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) is the only Tübingen center to be approved as a cluster of excellence within the framework of the German Excellence Initiative.
Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research (HIH)
The non-profit Hertie Foundation sponsors the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research (HIH) at the Faculty of Medicine Tübingen and the University Hospital Tübingen. The Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and the University Department of Neurology jointly constitute the Center for Neurology. Clinicians, teachers and scientists working in both clinical and basic research are based at the Center for Neurology.
The DZNE is a multi-site research center within the Helmholtz Association and focuses on neurodegenerative diseases. Its goal is to unterstand the origins and risk factors for neurodegeneration and to develop new strategies for therapy and management. The DZNE works closely with its partner universities to bundle the successful German research initiatives in the area of neurodegeneration.
In spite of significant advances, neuroprostheses and mind-machine interfaces that can be controlled by neuronal signals remain a dream, and a great number of fundamental biological, technical, computing, clinical and ethical problems remain to be solved before they can become reality. The goal of this consortium is the development of bidirectional, hybrid neurotechnological systems for application in humans.
The specialized training and education of young scientists is carried out in the Graduate Training Center of Neuroscience, which unites three Graduate Schools in the neurosciences.
Research at the Faculty of Medicine is characterized by a concentration on nationally and internationally competitive, interdisciplinary research focus areas. These research focus areas include the neurosciences, oncology and immunology, infection research and vascular medicine with diabetes research. Innovative biomedical technology acts as a bridge connecting the focus areas, as do internal core facilities and the interdisciplinary research networks (collaborative research centers, clinical research groups and research centers). In addition, independent research sections are integrated in a large number of clinical departments.
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
There are currently more than 1.5 Million people living with dementia in Germany; two thirds of them have Alzheimer’s Disease. Almost 300,000 new patients are diagnosed each year. Dementia is very difficult to research, because not all dementias look the same. The DZNE is the only research institute in Germany dedicated to dementia and all its facets. A member of the Helmholtz Association and the first of six German centers for health research (DZG), the DZNE was established by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to combat the most important widespread disease.
More than 1.000 employees in more than 80 research groups are investigating the similarities and differences of various brain diseases. The aim is to develop new preventive and therapeutic approaches. At DZNE fundamental research is closely related to clinical research, population studies and health care research. The goal is to identify new diagnostic markers and rapidly develop possible new therapies. To accomplish this, the DZNE brings together excellent scientific expertise all over Germany and follows an interdisciplinary research approach. At ten sites including: Berlin, Bonn, Dresden, Göttingen, Magdeburg, Munich, Rostock / Greifswald, Tübingen, Ulm and Witten the DZNE works closely with universities, university hospitals and other partners.
The DZNE receives 90 percent of its funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent from the respective federal states containing DZNE sites.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Pierluigi Nicotera, a renowned scientist and leading international expert in the field of neuronal cell death, was appointed Scientific Director of DZNE in April 2009. Prof. Dr. Dr. Nicotera was trained in General Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Pavia, Italy. He obtained his Ph.D. at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, where he worked subsequently as associate professor. From 1995 to 2000 Nicotera headed the division of Molecular Toxicology at the University of Konstanz and was then appointed Director of the UK Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit.
His research has been centred on the molecular mechanisms that lead to neuronal demise following chronic and acute insults. Loss of neuronal synaptic connections and apoptosis play central roles in neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Sabine Helling-Moegen became the Administrative Director of the DZNE on February 15, 2015. She studied law in Würzburg, Regensburg and Lisbon and completed her German legal education in 2000 with the second state exam. She earned a masters degree in European and international law at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and got her doctorate at the German School for Administrative Sciences in Speyer. Her first position was in 2002 as executive assistant to the administrative director of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. In 2006, she transitioned to the position of head of administration at the Helmholtz Association home office. There, she was not only responsible for administrative matters, but also for scientific political administrative issues within the association. Her responsibilities also included project management for the development of the Helmholz-Academy for managers. In 2011 she became head of human resources for the finance and investment consulting company MLP AG in Wiesloch, near Heidelberg. Sabine Helling-Moegen is married with two children.