Thomas Klockgether appointed as Director of Clinical Sciences of the DZNE

Bonn, May 16th, 2011. Prof. Thomas Klockgether has been appointed as Director of Clinical Sciences of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn. Klockgether is also Director of the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Bonn. In his dual role, he will foster cooperation between DZNE and the University of Bonn in clinical research. Prof. Klockgether’s major aim is to direct research toward new strategies for the therapy and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.

"With Prof. Klockgether, we have succeeded in gaining an excellent scientist and expert clinician. One of the key aspects of DZNE's mission is to translate research insights into new therapies and preventive strategies. With Prof. Klockgether, DZNE clinical research is in the best hands," says Prof. Pierluigi Nicotera, Scientific Director and Chairman of the DZNE Ex-ecutive Board. Prof. Michael Lentze, Medical Director of the University Hospital of Bonn, is also pleased with the decision. "Wonderful – he is the right person, because as a neurologist Prof. Klockgether optimally links scientific and clinical work. As a bridge between research and patient care he can guarantee good collaboration with the DZNE".

One of the major aims of Prof. Klockgether’s work is the early diagnosis of dementia. "Many innovative therapeutic strategies probably failed because treatments began too late, when the brain was already irreversibly damaged," said Prof. Klockgether. Large-scale studies with many participants will be carried out to identify characteristic features that can predict the development of dementia at early stages.

Another central research focus will be the development of new therapeutic approaches. "Medications available today are based on scientific concepts from the 1970s and 80s," says Prof. Klockgether. "Our goal is to accelerate the transfer of basic research to the clinic".

Dementias such as Alzheimer's disease are the most common neurodegenerative diseases. Scientists at the DZNE also investigate other, less common, neurodegenerative disorders. These are also of central importance for Prof. Klockgether, who has been studying Parkinson's disease, but also rare movement disorders, in particular degenerative ataxias. "Rare diseases have always been a major concern of mine," says Prof. Klockgether, who heads the Center for Rare Diseases at the University of Bonn.

The DZNE has seven further research sites throughout Germany in addition to Bonn. At these sites, DZNE clinical research is also carried out in close cooperation with the universi-ties and university hospitals. Coordinating DZNE efforts in clinical research and create synergy between different strands of clinical research will be another major task for Prof. Klockgether.

Linking fundamental to clinical research was already an important issue for Prof. Klockgether as a student. During his medical studies at the University of Göttingen he also carried out research at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine. After graduating, he went to Oldenburg as a clinician and then returned to the Max Planck Institute to work in basic research on Parkinson's disease.

He completed his specialist training in Tübingen, where he also began to focus on degenerative ataxias, in addition to pursuing research on Parkinson’s disease. These research lines evolved very successfully during his appointment in Bonn as Chairman of Department of Neurology. Prof. Klockgether has also been the Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn from 2008 to 2011.

Photo: Medienzentrum of the University Hospital

Contact information:
Prof. Dr. Thomas Klockgether
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
c/o Department of Neurology
University Hospital Bonn
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53105 Bonn
Tel.:    +49 228 / 287 15736
Email: /

Dr. Katrin Weigmann
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Presse and Public Relations
Tel:      +49 228 / 43302 263
Mobil:  +49 173 / 5471350

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