Prof. Dr. Gerd Kempermann

Speaker and Professor at CRTD

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Fetscherstraße 105
01307 Dresden

+49 (0) 351 / 458-82201
+49 (0) 351 / 210 463-99

Group members

Name Phone Fax
Anja Reitzig, Assistant +49 (0)351 / 210 463 12 +49 (0)351 / 210 463 99
Nambirajan Govindarajan, Postdoc +49 (0) 351 / 210 463 28 +49 (0) 351 / 210 463 99
Fanny Böhme, PhD Student +49 (0) 351 / 210 463 28 +49 (0) 351 / 210 463 99
Richard Wetzel, PhD Student +49 (0) 351 / 210 463 29 +49 (0) 351 / 210 463 99
Vijay Subba Rao Adusumilli, PhD Student +49 (0) 351 / 210 463 29 +49 (0) 351 / 210 463 99
Daniela Lasse, Technical Assistant
Isabel Raabe, Research Associate
Further group members (CRTD/third party funding)
Jan-Hendrick Claasen, Postdoc +49 (0) 351 / 463 40094 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Anna Grzyb, Postdoc +49 (0) 351 / 458 82211 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Muhammad Ichwan, PhD Student +49 (0) 351 / 458 82234 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Perla Leal Galicia, Postdoc +49 (0) 351 / 458 82211 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Benjamin Morisse, PhD Student +49 (0) 351 / 458 82232 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Johannes Niebling, Student +49 (0) 351 / 458 82112 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Tara Walker, Postdoc +49 (0) 351 / 458 82220 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Zeina Nicola, PhD Student +49 (0) 351 / 458 82233 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Rupert Overall, Postdoc +49 (0) 351 / 458 82211 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209
Suresh Kannan Subramananian Shanmugam,
PhD Student
+49 (0) 351 / 458 82233 +49 (0) 351 / 458 82209


New neurons for 'survival of the fittest'

Kempermann G. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 Oct;13(10):727-36. doi: 10.1038/nrn3319. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Physical activity and brain function.[Körperliche Aktivität und Hirnfunktion.]

Kempermann G. Internist (Berl). 2012 Jun;53(6):698-704.

Neuroscience. Youth culture in the adult brain.

Kempermann G. Science. 2012 Mar 9;335(6073):1175-6.

Glial cells in adult neurogenesis.

J Morrens, W Van Den Broeck, G Kempermann; Glia. 2012 Feb;60(2):159-74. doi: 10.1002/glia.21247. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and plasticity in the infrapyramidal bundle of the mossy fiber projection: I. Co-regulation by activity.

Römer B, Krebs J, Overall RW, Fabel K, Babu H, Overstreet-Wadiche L, Brandt MD, Williams RW, Jessberger S, Kempermann G. Front Neurosci. 2011;5:107. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Plasticity in the Infrapyramidal Bundle of the Mossy Fiber Projection: II. Genetic Covariation and Identification of Nos1 as Linking Candidate Gene.

Krebs J, Römer B, Overall RW, Fabel K, Babu H, Brandt MD, Williams RW, Jessberger S, Kempermann G. Front Neurosci. 2011;5:106. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

The pessimist's and optimist's views of adult neurogenesis.

G Kempermann, Cell, 2011 Jun 24, 145 (7), pp. 1009-1011.

Enriched environment and physical activity reduce microglia and influence the fate of NG2 cells in the amygdala of adult mice.

D Ehninger, LP Wang, F Klempin, B Römer, H Kettenmann, G Kempermann; Cell Tissue Res. 2011 Jul;345(1):69-86. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

The role of additive neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in a hippocampal memory model with grid-cell like input

Appleby PA, Kempermann G, Wiskott L, PLoS Computational Biology 7

Tis21 expression marks not only populations of neurogenic precursor cells but also postmitotic neurons in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Attardo A, Fabel K, Krebs J, Haubensak W, Huttner WB, Kempermann G., Cer Cortex. 2009. In press.

Adaptive peripheral immune response increases proliferation of neural precursor cells in the adult hippocampus.

Wolf SA, Steiner B, Wengner A, Lipp M, Kammertoens T, Kempermann G., FASEB J. 2009 May 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Adult-generated hippocampal neurons allow the flexible use of spatially precise learning strategies.

Garthe A, Behr J, Kempermann G., PLoS ONE.;4(5):e5464. Epub 2009 May 7. PubMed PMID: 19421325

Melatonin Modulates Cell Survival of New Neurons in the Hippocampus of Adult  Mice.

Ramírez-Rodríguez G, Klempin F, Babu H, Benítez-King G, Kempermann G., 2009 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]

CD4-positive T lymphocytes provide a  neuroimmunological link in the control of adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Wolf SA, Steiner B, Akpinarli A, Kammertoens T, Nassenstein C, Braun A,  Blankenstein T, Kempermann G., J Immunol. 2009 Apr 1;182(7):3979-84.

Age effects on the  regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis by physical activity and  environmental enrichment in the APP23 mouse model of Alzheimer disease.

Mirochnic S, Wolf S, Staufenbiel M, Kempermann G., Hippocampus. 2009 Feb 13. [Epub ahead of print]

NMDA and benzodiazepine receptors have synergistic and antagonistic effects on precursor cells in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Petrus DS, Fabel K, Kronenberg G, Winter C, Steiner B, Kempermann G., Eur J Neurosci. 2009 Jan;29(2):244-52.

Cdk5 regulates accurate maturation of newborn granule cells in the adult hippocampus.

Jessberger S, Aigner S, Clemenson GD Jr, Toni N, Lie DC, Karalay O, Overall R,  Kempermann G, Gage FH.  PLoS Biol. 2008 Nov 11;6(11):e272.

The antitumorigenic response of neural precursors depends on subventricular proliferation and age.

Walzlein JH, Synowitz M, Engels B, Markovic DS, Gabrusiewicz K, Nikolaev E,  Yoshikawa K, Kaminska B, Kempermann G, Uckert W, Kaczmarek L, Kettenmann H, Glass R. Stem Cells. 2008 Nov;26(11):2945-54. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

Folate deficiency induces neurodegeneration and brain dysfunction in mice lacking uracil DNA glycosylase.

Kronenberg G, Harms C, Sobol RW, Cardozo-Pelaez F, Linhart H, Winter B,  Balkaya M, Gertz K, Gay SB, Cox D, Eckart S, Ahmadi M, Juckel G, Kempermann G, Hellweg R, Sohr R, Hörtnagl H, Wilson SH, Jaenisch R, Endres M. J Neurosci. 2008 Jul 9;28(28):7219-30.

Intermediate progenitors in adult hippocampal neurogenesis: Tbr2 expression andcoordinate regulation of neuronal output.

Hodge RD, Kowalczyk TD, Wolf SA, Encinas JM, Rippey C, Enikolopov G, Kempermann G, Hevner RF.  J Neurosci. 2008 Apr 2;28(14):3707-17.

The neurogenic reserve hypothesis: what is adult hippocampal neurogenesis goodfor?

Kempermann G. Trends Neurosci. 2008 Apr;31(4):163-9. Epub 2008 Mar 7.

Enriched monolayer precursor cell cultures from micro-dissected adult mouse dentate gyrus yield functional granule cell-like neurons.

Babu H, Cheung G, Kettenmann H, Palmer TD, Kempermann G.  PLoS ONE. 2007 Apr 25;2:e388

Cognitive and physical activity differently modulate disease progression in the amyloid precursor protein (APP)-23 model of Alzheimer's disease.

Wolf SA, Kronenberg G, Lehmann K, Blankenship A, Overall R, Staufenbiel M, Kempermann G. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Dec 15;60(12):1314-23

Running in pregnancy transiently increases postnatal hippocampal neurogenesis in the offspring.

Bick-Sander A, Steiner B, Wolf SA, Babu H, Kempermann G. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Mar 7;103(10):3852-7

A functional hypothesis for adult hippocampal neurogenesis: avoidance of catastrophic interference in the dentate gyrus.

Wiskott L, Rasch MJ, Kempermann G. Hippocampus. 2006;16(3):329-43

Natural variation and genetic covariance in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Kempermann G, Chesler EJ, Lu L, Williams RW, Gage FH. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 17;103(3):780-5

Physical exercise prevents age-related decline in precursor cell activity in the mouse dentate gyrus.

Kronenberg G, Bick-Sander A, Bunk E, Wolf C, Ehninger D, Kempermann G.  Neurobiol Aging. 2006 Oct;27(10):1505-13

Milestones of neuronal development in the adult hippocampus.

Kempermann G, Jessberger S, Steiner B, Kronenberg G. Trends Neurosci. 2004 Aug;27(8):447-52

Depressed new neurons--adult hippocampal neurogenesis and a cellular plasticity hypothesis of major depression.

Kempermann G, Kronenberg G.  Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Sep 1;54(5):499-503

Running increases cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult mouse dentate gyrus.

van Praag H, Kempermann G, Gage FH. Nat Neurosci. 1999 Mar;2(3):266-70

More hippocampal neurons in adult mice living in an enriched environment.

Kempermann G, Kuhn HG, Gage FH. Nature. 1997 Apr 3;386(6624):493-5

Curriculum Vitae

Gerd Kempermann is professor for Genomics of Regeneration at the Center for Regenerative Therapies in Dresden (CRTD). After his doctorate at the University of Freiburg, he worked until 1995 in the Department of Clinical Neuropathology at  University Medical Center Freiburg. As a postdoc he went to the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Californa, where he conducted research in the laboratory of Professor Fred H. Gage until 1998. From 1998 to 2000 he worked as clinical neurologist at the University of Regensburg. In 2000 he moved as a research group leader to the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch. In addition he headed the Volkswagenstiftung Research Group at the Dept. of Experimental Neurology, Charité University Medicine. Gerd Kempermann had his habilitation in 2002 in experimental neurology. In  2004 he was a Senior Fellow of the international Max Plank Research Network on Aging (MaxnetAging). He moved to the CRTD in 2007 and is Speaker of the DZNE in Dresden since 2009.

Areas of investigation/research focus

New neurons for old brains

Adult neurogenesis, that is the generation of new neurons in the adult brain, is increasingly recognized as a key aspect of structural plasticity. A population of stem cells that persists throughout life is the origin of neuronal development in the otherwise “non-neurogenic” brain. Specifically, new neurons are added to the network of the hippocampus, the “gateway to memory,” dependent on activity and experience. They add flexibility to the network, especially if new information has to be integrated into familiar context, a function that is often lost in neurodegeneration, dementia and depression. At least in animals, physical and cognitive activity counteract the age-related loss of adult neurogenesis and build what we have called a “neurogenic reserve”.

Click on the magnifying glass for a large image.

One group, two sites

Our group consists of two “departments”, one at the CRTD – Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden and one at the DZNE Dresden. Both study adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus and its regulation by genes and activity.
The DZNE branch of the group focuses on three aspects that are particularly relevant in the context of neurodegeneration and the research mission of the DZNE as a whole.

1. Stem cell models
Aim of this research is to improve cultures of neural stem cells from the adult hippocampus of mice and humans, in particular by combining classical cell culture techniques with advanced biomaterials (Cooperation with Carsten Werner, CRTD).

2. Epigenetics
Activity has lasting effects on adult neurogenesis and, for example, the proliferative activity of the neural stem cells in the hippocampus. We study, how this activity changes gene expression and how epigenetic mechanisms control these changes. The hypothesis is that the “neurogenic reserve” is associated with a characteristic epigenetic condition.

3. Testing of neurogenesis-related functions in humans
Progress in identifying the particular functional contribution that new neurons make to the hippocampus have opened up the opportunity to access this function in humans, including patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

The cooperation partner's homepage can be found here.