Prof. Dr. Günter U. Höglinger

Group Leader

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases e.V. (DZNE)
& Technical University Munich (TUM)
Chair for Translational Neurodegeneration
Feodor-Lynen Str. 17
D-81377 Munich, Germany

guenter.hoeglinger(at)dzne.de
+49 (0) 89 / 4400-46464  (Assistance)
+49 (0) 89 / 4400-46465  (Office)
+49 (0) 89 / 4400-46565

Group members
Name Phone Fax
Ruth Götz, Team Assistant +49 (0)89/4400-46464 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Rösler, Dept. Lab Head +49 (0)89/4400-46463 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Dr. med. Sylvia Maaß, Study Physician +49 (0)89/4400-46455 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Yvonne Roedenbeck, Study Nurse +49 (0)89/4400-46455 +49 (0)89/4400-46457
Maria Ertl, Study Nurse +49 (0)89/4400-46452 +49 (0)89/4400-46457
Magda Berjas, Technical Assistant +49 (0)89/4400-46469 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Lena Jaschkowitz, Technical Assistant +49 (0)89/4400-46470 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Further group members (TUM/third party funding)    
Dr. med. Matthias Höllerhage, Postdoc +49 (0)89/4400-46464 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Dr. med. Thomas Köglsperger, Postdoc +49 (0)89/4400-46469 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Dr. med. Gesine Respondek, Postdoc +49 (0)89/4400-46464 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Dr. rer. nat. Sigrid Schwarz, Postdoc +49 (0)89/4400-46467 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Dr. rer. nat. Hong Xu, Postdoc +49 (0)89/4400-46466 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Dr. Niko-Petteri Nykänen, Postdoc +49 (0)89/4400-46469 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Tasnim Chakroun, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46469 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Valentin Evsyukov, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46470 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Elisabeth Findeiss, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46468 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Natascha Fussi, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46469 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Moritz Kolling, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46467 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Teresa Conrad, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46467 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Johannes Melms, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46467 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Saskia Müller-Rebstein, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46470 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Kerstin Schweyer, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46470 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Yi Tan, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46468 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Rohit Kumar, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46470 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Diana Haba-Schneider, PhD Student +49 (0)89/4400-46469 +49 (0)89/4400-46565
Curriculum vitae

Prof. Dr. med. Günter U. Höglinger heads the Institute for Translational Neurodegeneration of the DZNE and is Consultant Senior Neurologist at the Dept. of Neurology in the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University Munich.

He studied Medicine and Physics at the Universities of Regensburg and Würzburg, Germany. He specialized in clinical Neurolology with a focus on neurodegenerative disorders at the Dept. of Neurology of the Philipps University Marburg, where he was Deputy of the Department Director Prof. Dr. Dr. W. H. Oertel.

Prof. Höglinger worked for thesis project on stem cells in Parkinson’s disease at the Universities of Munich and Berne and achieved the highest grade (summa cum laude). With a grant of the Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) he did his postdoctoral training focused on experimental models of neurodegenerative diseases at the Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris in the INSERM Unit of Prof. E.C. Hirsch. For his habilitation, he worked on the role of environmental factors in the etiology of the atypical Parkinson Syndrome in Guadeloupe.

His present research focuses on the identification of environmental and genetic causes of neurodegenerative akinetic-rigid and dementing syndromes, the improvement of diagnostic tools and the development of therapeutic interventions.

Awards and honours (selected)

  • 2011 - Heisenberg-Professorship, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • 2011 - Poster- award for a particularly eminent work (MD student G. Respondek), German PSP Association e. V.
  • 2010 - Best medical thesis (MD student M. Stamelou), Landesärztekammer Hessen
  • 2010 - Best biomedical thesis (MD student M. Stamelou), Philipps University Marburg
  • 2009 - First award for, Innovative therapeutic strategies in neurodegenerative diseases‘, Dr. Walter und Luise Freundlich-Foundation
  • 2008 - First thesis- award (MD student M. Höllerhage), Center for Nervous Diseases, Philipps-University Marburg
  • 2007 - Award for Excellence in Basic Science (Doktorandin M. Escobar), Movement Disorders Society, Milwaukee
  • 2005 - Parkinson-award, German Parkinson Foundation e.V.
  • 2005 - Award, German Parkinson Association e.V.
  • 2004 - Award of Excellence, Route 28 Summits in Neurobiology
  • 2003 - Research stipend, Fondation Récherche Médicale, Paris
  • 2003 - Research allowance, National Parkinson Foundation, Miami
  • 2003 - Research allowance, Society for PSP, Baltimore
  • 2001 - 2002 Research stipend, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • 1994 - 1998 University stipend, Hanns-Seidel Foundation e.V.
Selected publications

Identification of common variants influencing risk of the tauopathy Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Höglinger GU, Melhem NM, Dickson DW, Sleiman PMA, Wang LS, Klei L, Rademakers R, de Silva R, Litvan I, Riley DE, van Swieten JC, Heutink P, Wszolek ZK, Uitti RJ Vandrovcova J, Hurtig HI, Gross RG, Maetzler W, Goldwurm S, Tolosa E, Borroni B, Pastor P, PSP Genetics Study Group, Cantwell LB, Han MR, Dillman A, van der Brug MP, Gibbs JR, Cookson MR, Hernandez DG, Singleton AB, Farrer MJ, Yu CE, Golbe LI, Revesz T, Hardy J, Lees AJ, Devlin B, Hakonarson H, Müller U, Schellenberg JD. Nature Genetics, 2011;43:699-705.

Microglial glucocorticoid receptors play a pivotal role in regulating dopaminergic neurodegeneration in parkinsonism.

Ros-Bernal F, Hunot S, Herrero MT, Parnadeau S, Corvol JC, Lu L, Alvarez-Fischer D, Carrillo MA, Saurini F, Coussieu C, Kinugawa K, Prigent A, Höglinger G, Hamon M, Tronche F, Hirsch EC, Vyas S.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2011;108:6632-7.

Systemic administration of Neuregulin-1ß1 protects dopaminergic neurons in a model of Parkinson’s disease.

Carlsson T, Schindler FR, Höllerhage M, Depboylu C, Arias-Carrión O, Schnurrbusch S, Rösler TW, Wozny W, Schwall GP, Groebe K, Oertel WH, Brundin P, Schrattenholz A, Höglinger GU.  J. Neurochemistry. 2011;117:1066-74.

Hypodipsia discriminates progressive supranuclear palsy from other parkinsonian syndromes.

Stamelou M, Christ H, Reuss A, Oertel WH, Höglinger GU.  Mov Disord. 2011;26:901-5.

Health-related quality of life in Multiple System Atrophy and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Winter Y, Stamelou M, Cabanel N, Sixel-Döring F, Eggert K, Höglinger GU; Herting B, Klockgether T, Reichmann H, Oertel WH, Dodel R, Spottke A. Neurodegenerative Diseases. 2011;8:438-46.

Rational therapeutic approaches to progressive supranuclear palsy.

Stamelou M, de Silva R, Arias-Carrion O, Boura E, Höllerhage M, Oertel WH, Müller U, Höglinger GU.  Brain. 2010;133:1578-90.

Possible Involvement of Complement Factor C1q in the Clearance of Extracellular Neuromelanin from the Substantia Nigra in Parkinson’s Disease.

Depboylu C, Schäfer MKH, Arias-Carrión O, Oertel WH, Weihe E, Höglinger GU.  J Neuropath Exp Neurology. 2011;70:125-32.

In vivo demonstration of microstructural brain pathology in progressive supranuclear palsy: A DTI study using TBSS.

Knake S, Belke M, Menzler K, Pilatus U, Eggert KM, Oertel WH, Stamelou M, Höglinger GU.  Mov Disord. 2010;25:1232-8.

Natural lipophilic inhibitors of mitochondrial complex I are candidate toxins for sporadic neurodegenerative tau pathologies.

Höllerhage M, Matusch A, Champy P, Lombès A, Ruberg M, Oertel WH, Höglinger GU. Exp Neurol. 2009;220:133-42.

In vivo evidence for cerebral depletion in high-energy phosphates in progressive supranuclear palsy.

Stamelou M, Pilatus U, Reuss A, Magerkurth J, Eggert KM, Knake S, Ruberg M, Schade-Brittinger C, Oertel WH, Höglinger GU. J Cerebral Blood Flow Metabolism, 2009;29:861-70.

Nigrostriatal upregulation of 5-HT2A receptors in progressive supranuclear palsy.

Stamelou M, Matusch A, Elmenhorst D, Hurlemann R, Eggert KM, Zilles K, Oertel WH, Höglinger GU*, Bauer A*. * equal contribution, Movement Disorders, 2009;24:1170-5.

Short-term effects of coenzyme Q10 in progressive supranuclear palsy: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Stamelou M, Reuss A, Pilatus U, Magerkurth J, Niklowitz P, Eggert KM, Krisp A, Menke T, Schade-Brittinger C, Oertel WH, Höglinger GU.  Movement Disorders, 2008;23:942-9.

Annonacin, a Natural Mitochondrial Complex I Inhibitor, Causes Tau Pathology in Cultured Neurons.

Escobar Khondiker M, Höllerhage M, Michel PP, Muriel MP, Champy P, Respondek G, Yagi T, Lannuzel A, Hirsch EC, Oertel WH, Jacob R, Ruberg R, Höglinger GU.  J. Neuroscience. 2007;27:7827-37.

The pRb/E2F cell-cycle pathway mediates cell death in Parkinson’s disease.

Höglinger GU, Breunig JJ, Depboylu C, Rouaux C, Michel PP, Alvarez-Fischer D, Boutillier AL, DeGregori J, Oertel WH, Rakic P, Hirsch EC, Hunot S. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104:3585–3590.

Atypical Parkinsonism in Guadeloupe: a common risk factor for two closely related phenotypes?

Lannuzel A, Höglinger GU, Verhaeghe S, Gire L, Belson S, Escobar-Khondiker M, Poullain P, Oertel WH, Hirsch EC, Dubois B, Ruberg M. Brain. 2007;130:816-27.

New striatal dopamine neurons in MPTP-treated macaques result from a phenotypic shift not neurogenesis.

Tandé D, Höglinger GU, Debeir T, Freundlieb N, Hirsch EC, François C.  Brain. 2006;129:1194–1200.

Dopaminergic Substantia Nigra Neurons Project Topographically Organized to the Subventricular Zone and Stimulate Precursor Cell Proliferation in Aged Primates.

Freundlieb N, François C, Tandé D, Oertel WH, Hirsch EC, Höglinger GU.  J. Neuroscience. 2006;26:2321-2325.

Evaluation of a screening procedure for the early diagnosis of Parkinsonism at the level of general practitioners.

Höglinger GU, Rissling I, Ries V, Heinermann A, Baum E, Deuschl G, Spieker S, Oertel WH.  Movement Disorders. 2004;19:505-512.

Dopamine depletion impairs precursor cell proliferation in Parkinson disease.

Höglinger GU, Rizk P, Muriel MP, Duyckaerts C., Oertel WH, Caille I, Hirsch EC. Nature Neuroscience. 2004;7:726-735.

Open positions

Technical Assistant (m/f)

Doctoral Students (m/f)

At any time, our research group is looking for suitable candidates who want to do a doctorate in the field of neurosciences. If you are interested, please send your application via E-mail to Mrs. Ruth Götz.    


Areas of investigatins/research focus

We aim to tightly link disease-oriented basic science with clinical research, in an attempt to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic options for neurodegenerative diseases, based on new scientific concepts. Therefore, we transfer results from clinical research to refine experimental disease models (from bed to bench). Inversely, we aim to translate results from experimental research into innovative clinical trials (from bed to bench).

Our work focuses on akinetic-rigid Parkinson syndromes:

  • Diseases with pathological aggregation of alpha-synuclein (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Multisystem Atrophy)
  • Diseases with pathological aggregation of Tau-protein (e.g. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Cortico-Basal Degeneration)

The following areas of research have been established in our team:

  • Human genetic studies are performed to identify genetically determined risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases (Fig. 1).
  • Environmental risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases are being determined in experimental studies (Fig. 2).
  • Studies in experimental systems aim at the identification of molecular signals mediating neuronal dysfunction and degeneration (Fig. 3).
  • Cerebral repair processes, e.g. the generation of new neurons in the adult brain, and their potential to counteract neurodegenerative processes are being studied (Fig. 4).
  • Modern imaging modalities are applied to visualize pathological changes in the brains of living patients, aiming at the identification of disease mechanims and markers to ascertain diagnoses and to monitor progression (Fig. 5).
  • On the basis of the clinical and experimental observations, we aim to develop and refine pathophysiological disease concepts allowing to predict promising therapeutic targets, and finally to test these in clinical trials (e.g. Fig. 6).

The cooperation partner's homepage can be found here.

Fig. 1
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Fig. 2
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Fig. 3
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Fig. 4
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Fig. 5
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Fig. 6
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Figure legends:
Fig. 1: Genetic risk factors: A Manhattan plot showing four newly identified, genetically determined risk factors for the neurodegenerative Tauopathy PSP (threshold P = 5x10-8). Note that the vertical axis is truncated at 10-15, but the P-value for MAPT on chromosome 17p is 10-116. [modified from Höglinger et al., Nature Genetics 2011;43:699-705].
Fig. 2: Environmental risk factors: Molecules which provoke a neurodegenerative Tauopathy in cultured neurons [from Höllerhage et al.; Exp Neurol. 2009;220:133-42].
Fig. 3: Neuronal cell death: Dopaminergic neurons (green) with axonal connection to the striatum (blue) activate a characteristic signal (red) during their demise [from Höglinger et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104:3585–3590.].
Fig. 4: Brain repair: Neuronal stem cells (red) in the subventricular zone of the adult brain are proliferative (green) and embedded in a network of dopaminergic fibers (blue) [modified from Höglinger et al., Nature Neuroscience. 2004;7:726-735].
Fig. 5: Brain imaging: Cerebral PET study of PSP patients showing an upregulation of 5-HT2A receptors in the substantia nigra [from Stamelou et al., Movement Disorders, 2009;24:1170-5].
Fig. 6: Therapy development: Pathophysiological concept and putative therapeutic interventions (red) in Tauopathies [from Stamelou et al., Brain. 2010;133:1578-90].