Dr. Andreas Hermann is currently Full Professor and Head of the Division for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Technische Universität Dresden and will become Full-Professor and Section Head of the Albrecht-Kossel Section for Translational Neurodegeneration and Research Group Leader within the DZNE Rostock/Greifswald as of 01.01.2019. As a clinician scientist, he works as senior neurologist with a main focus on neurodegenerative diseases.
His initial studies were on the characterization of different adult neural stem cell types from murine and human brain and human bone marrow. Special focus was put on the regenerative capacity of the adult midbrain. Main topics of his current work are human cellular models of rare neurodegenerative diseases with special emphasis on motor neuron degeneration and iPS cells for disease modeling and drug development approaches. His research profile covers all aspects of clinical translation ranging from basic mechanisms of cellular aging and neurodegeneration to disease modeling to clinical phenotyping and translation of basic science results/novel therapeutics. In addition, he is working on patient-centered care with people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their caregivers. Dr. Hermann has received substantial national (e.g. BMBF), and international (e.g. EU) funding, but also through patient networks or private funding.
Vulnerability vs. reduced penetrance: the selectivity of neurodegeneration
The selective degeneration of specific neuronal subpopulations and the aggregation of different proteins is the basis of the variety of sporadic and genetic neurodegenerative diseases. Reasons for this selectivity or the resilience against these sickening influences is rarely investigated. Additionally, the selectivity of degeneration in monogenetic neurodegenerative diseases raises the question on reduced penetrance in non-neuronal tissues. The talk will (i) present examples of reduced penetrance, (ii) discuss possible underlying mechanisms, (iii) discuss possibilities and restrictions how to investigate this phenomenon in human cell culture models and (iv) to introduce strategies to strengthen resilience as therapeutic targets.