What happens at the molecular level when a person develops a neurodegenerative disease - this question is the focus of basic research at the DZNE. The scientists want to decipher which mechanisms are responsible for the diseases and how they intervene in the processes in the body. To do this, they study human cells and also model organisms such as flies, fish, worms or mice.
The researchers are using numerous starting points for this work: They are looking at cell biology as well as the question of how nerve cells communicate with each other. They are shedding light on the role of inflammatory mechanisms and abnormal proteins in neurodegenerative diseases, the influence of genes on the risk of disease and, within the framework of so-called epigenetics, want to find out how external factors influence genes.
In their work, the basic researchers rely on state-of-the-art technologies: The latest microscope technology is used in their laboratories, as are OMICs technologies for genome and protein analysis and artificial intelligence.