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The Institute

"Physiologisch Chemisches Institut"
The former "Physiologisch Chemisches Institut"

Since April 2010 the Institute for Pathobiochemistry is established as an independent institute of the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. From 1989 it was one part of the Institute for Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry. The chair for Pathobiochemistry is held by Prof. Dr. Christian Behl since the year 2002, his antecessors being Prof. Dr. Werner Müller-Esterl (1989 to 1999) and Prof. Dr. Heinz Bässler (1971 to 1989).

Currently, there are two more professorships affiliated to the institute which are represented by Prof. Dr. Claus Pietrzik (since 2003) and Prof. Dr. Bernd Moosmann (since 2010) plus an endowed professorship for Pathobiochemical Adaptation granted to Prof. Dr. Parvana Hajieva in 2016. The common research interest of the scientist at the Institute of Pathobiochemistry is directed towards the understanding of how age-associated neurodegenerative disorders are emerging and progressing and, moreover, towards the development of new strategies for prevention and therapy.

Institutsgebäude heute

Within the Behl Group cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying aging, neurodegeneration and neuroprotection are investigated. Cellular proteostasis and, in particular, the pathway of selective macroautophagy are regarded to be key aspects. Another focus is on the adaptation processes cells employ to counteract different forms of cellular stress.

Biochemical processes that account for the onset and progression of Alzheimer‘s Disease (AD) are elucidated by the Pietrzik Group. Currently the focus is on possible new clues for AD therapy.

An alternative approach to decode basic biochemical mechanisms relevant for neurodegenerative disorders and aging is pursued by the Moosmann Group analyzing the evolution of this mechanisms.

The Institute for Pathobiochemistry resides within the Biomedical Research Center (BFZ) located on the university campus and due to its research profile is integrated in the Focus Program Translational Neurosciences (FTN) of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz that bundles basic and clinical research efforts in the field. The University Medical Center offers a broad spectrum of departments dealing with clinical neuroscience, facilitating interdisciplinary approaches and the rapid transfer from bench to bedside. Besides, we are closely cooperating with the Institutes for Developmental Biology and Neurobiology and for Molecular Physiology belonging to the Faculty of Biology and with the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB).