Department Schaefer

Department Schaefer

Neurobiology of Ageing

With age, we gain knowledge and experience, learn new skills and create memories. At the same time, many processes in the brain deteriorate with age. We focus our research on understanding the mechanisms of neuronal longevity and age-related neurodegeneration. One of the key aspects of our research involves the immune mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

One of the most fascinating problems of human biology is the bi-directionality of changes that happen during brain ageing. As we age, we gain knowledge and experience, develop skills, and store memories that define our personality and behaviour. At the same time, the age-associated cognitive advances are marred by decline in neuronal function that may take a particularly dramatic turn in the late stages of human life. How can the wisdom and peril of ageing co-exist and what are the mechanism of these intertwined processes remains largely unknown.

more about our research ]

Selected publications

Negative feedback control of neuronal activity by microglia
Badimon, A., Strasburger, H. J., Ayata, P., Chen, X., Nair, A., Ikegami, A., Hwang, P., Chan, A. T., Graves, S. M., Uweru, J. O., Ledderose, C., Kutlu, M. G., Wheeler, M. A., Kahan, A., Ishikawa, M., Wang, Y. C., Loh, Y. E., Jiang, J. X., Surmeier, D. J., Robson, S. C., Junger, W. G., Sebra, R., Calipari, E. S., Kenny, P. J., Eyo, U. B., Colonna, M., Quintana, F. J., Wake, H., Gradinaru, V., Schaefer, A.
(2020) Nature, 586, 7829, 417-423

Sensory lesioning induces microglial synapse elimination via ADAM10 and fractalkine signaling
Gunner, G., Cheadle, L., Johnson, K. M., Ayata, P., Badimon, A., Mondo, E., Nagy, M. A., Liu, L., Bemiller, S. M., Kim, K. W., Lira, S. A., Lamb, B. T., Tapper, A. R., Ransohoff, R. M., Greenberg, M. E., Schaefer, A., Schafer, D. P.
(2019) Nat Neurosci, 22, 7, 1075-1088

Epigenetic regulation of brain region-specific microglia clearance activity
Ayata, P., Badimon, A., Strasburger, H. J., Duff, M. K., Montgomery, S. E., Loh, Y. E., Ebert, A., Pimenova, A. A., Ramirez, B. R., Chan, A. T., Sullivan, J. M., Purushothaman, I., Scarpa, J. R., Goate, A. M., Busslinger, M., Shen, L., Losic, B., Schaefer, A.
(2018) Nat Neurosci, 21, 8, 1049-1060

Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) silences genes responsible for neurodegeneration
von Schimmelmann, M., Feinberg, P. A., Sullivan, J. M., Ku, S. M., Badimon, A., Duff, M. K., Wang, Z., Lachmann, A., Dewell, S., Ma'ayan, A., Han, M. H., Tarakhovsky, A., Schaefer, A.
(2016) Nat Neurosci, 19, 10, 1321-30

MicroRNA-128 governs neuronal excitability and motor behavior in mice
Tan, C. L., Plotkin, J. L., Veno, M. T., von Schimmelmann, M., Feinberg, P., Mann, S., Handler, A., Kjems, J., Surmeier, D. J., O'Carroll, D., Greengard, P., Schaefer, A.
(2013) Science, 342, 6163, 1254-8


  06/2021 - 05/2027 European Research Council (Schaefer, Brose, Triller, Oertner MPI) - ERC Synergy Grant,  Micro-'COPS' - Microglia-control of physiological brain states
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