Scientific Director and Chairman of the Executive Board

Prof. Dr. Dr. Pierluigi Nicotera 

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. Birgit Westernströer
Executive Assistant
 +49 228 43302-101
 +49 228 43302-509
Claudia Weyde-Bialas
Personal Assistant
 +49 228 43302-102
 +49 228 43302-509

Administrative Director

Dr. Sabine Helling-Moegen, LL. M.

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.


André Pett
Executive Associate
 +49 228 43302-201
 +49 228 43302-109
Nicole Saf-Funk
Office Manager
 +49 228 43302-202
 +49 228 43302-109
Lesley Darkoh
Personal Assistant
 +49 228 43302-203
 +49 228 43302-109


Thursdays 1:30-4:30 pm

Patients +49 800-7799001

(free of charge)

Professionals +49 180-779900

(9 Cent/Min. German landline, mobile and out of Germany possibly more expensive)