Collaborations and projects

In the research focus "Translational Neuroscience" a large number of funded projects are jointly implemented. Here you will find a selection of funded projects and consortia.

The research is divided into three areas:


  • Ataxie-Registry: For individuals with Friedreich's ataxia, we currently offer two observational studies (EFACTS and TRACK-FA), which may be combined. The goals of these observational studies are to collect clinical data in individuals with Friedreich ataxia and to examine biomaterials (blood and urine) and imaging data (MRI). These data will be used to identify new tools to track disease progression and improve existing tools. This is important for conducting future therapeutic studies. Friedreich's Ataxia / Spinocerebellar Ataxias..
  • EFACTS Registry: EFACTS (European Friedreich's Ataxia Consortium for Translational Studies) is an observational study for patients with Friedreich's ataxia. It is conducted at different sites in Europe (multicenter). PI: Jörg B. Schulz; Management Aachen Center (Site-PI): Kathrin Reetz Friedreich's ataxia / spinocerebellar ataxias.
  • Deutsches Demenzregister: The German Dementia Registry is a multicenter, national and open registry with the aim to measure and better understand the natural course, potential influencing factors and treatment effects in mild cognitive impairment and dementia based on biological markers.  PI: Kathrin Reetz; overall study director: Jörg B. Schulz.
  • Enroll-HD (worldwide Huntington Register): Longitudinal observational study of Huntington's disease (HD). Site-PI: Kathrin Reetz.
  • RBD Registry: Registry study of REM sleep behavior disorder in patients with REM/dream sleep behavior disorder and healthy control subjects with annual visits., PI: Kathrin Reetz

Projects funded by the German Research Foundation Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG):


  • ATL Gene: How structural proteins of the endoplasmic reticulum lead to axonal degeneration: Millions of people suffer from peripheral neuropathies caused by the degeneration of small sensory peripheral nerve fibers, termed small fiber neuropathy (SFN). In Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathies (HSAN), medium and large nerve fibers are also affected. Mutations in structural membrane proteins of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which include the atlastins (ATLs) studied in this project, can lead to these forms of neuropathy. PIs: Ingo Kurth, Joachim Weis; Christoph Kaether (Jena)
  • DFG Forschungsgruppe 2591: Severity assesment in animal-based research
    • Subproject 08 will develop a preclinical imaging concept for simultaneous visualization of tissue damage and pain in animals that can be used as a reference for behavioral or other severity testing. The imaging concept will be applied to different pain models and to animals exposed to contrast-enhanced ultrasound.PI: Felix Mottaghy
    • Subproject 10: Animal models of subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH): filament perforation model and cisterna magna blood injection model in rats: characteristics of outcome and behavioural analysis with a special focus on severity assessment. PI: Ute Lindauer.



  • HDS-Lee School for Data Science in Life, Earth, and Energy. The Helmholtz School for Data Science in Life, Earth and Energy (HDS-LEE) provides an interdisciplinary environment for training the next generation of data scientists in close contact with domain-specific knowledge and research. PI: Giulia Rossetti.
  • Funded by the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA): Neuroimaging biomarkers in Friedreich ataxia. TRACK-FA is also an observational study for individuals with Friedreich's ataxia. The aim is to investigate changes in the brain and spinal cord using MRI. The study is conducted at different sites worldwide (multicenter). PIs: Kathrin Reetz, Jörg B. Schulz.
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: Aging and Neurodegeneration in a Human Brain Tissue Model:The Collaborative pairs project (University of Tübingen and University of Aachen) is part of the Neurodegeneration Challenge Network (NDCN) and investigates the vulnerability of the brain to undergo neurodegenerative changes. One of the major challenges in neurodegenerative disease research has been finding appropriate models to study the molecular and cellular biology of these diseases. This project aims to develop a novel human tissue system combining adult human brain tissue from surgical patients with stem cell technology. One of the advantages of this system is that the stem cells can be manipulated to express different neurodegenerative disease related genes. The team will utilize this system to explore cellular interactions, with an initial focus on the role of immune cells (microglia) in Alzheimer’s disease.  PI: Henner Koch (Klinik für Neurologie, Sektion Epileptologie)

Projects funded by the German Research Foundation Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG):

  • DFG graduate school 2415 “ME3T - Mechanobiology in Epithelial 3D Tissue Constructs” : The ME3T graduate school focuses on mechanobiology and tissue engineering to better understand how mechanical stimuli affect tissue morphogenesis and remodeling. ME3T brings together engineers and life science researchers to decipher fundamental mechanobiological mechanisms and develop complex tissue models for drug testing, reduction of animal testing, and basic research. PI: Angelika Lampert
  • DFG Project: The intergenerational transmission of violence: a combined prospective criminological and neurobiological investigation: A combined prospective criminological and neurobiological study.PI: Kerstin Konrad
  • Graduate school GRH2610 InnoRetVision PI: Peter Walter
  • International graduate school "Neural Basis of the Modulation of Aggression and Impulsivity in the Context of Psychopathology". IRTG 2150: Together with one of the leading American universities, the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) and JARA BRAIN, an initiative of RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, neuronal bases of the modulation of aggression and impulsivity in the context of psychopathology are investigated within the framework of the international research training group. The aim of this project is to gain insights into how different factors such as environment, traumatic experiences, personality, gender, culture and genetic factors influence aggressive and impulsive behavior in humans. This will be accomplished through experimental, animal, clinical, and increasingly data-driven approaches. (PIs: Ute Habel, Kerstin Konrad, Katrin Reetz, Klaus Mathiak, Lisa Wagels, Irene Neuner, Jon Shah)

Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF):

  • Associated Partner in the health centerDZPG: In a multi-stage application process, Jena, Magdeburg and Halle, with a team of more than 60 experts, combined in a joint initiative as the Center for Intervention and Research on adaptive and maladaptive brain Circuits underlying mental health (C-I-R-C) , applied to be the site of the new German Center for Mental Health, with the aim of developing novel concepts for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders and bringing them into application. (PI: Thomas  Frodl)
  • BMBF-UBICA-II: Understanding and Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Abuse in Families Enrolled in Routine Mental Health and Welfare Services: Early aids offer practical help, advice and support for parents from pregnancy onwards. They are aimed in particular at families who have the feeling of being overwhelmed in everyday life with their child. Subproject 1 of the UBICA-II network at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy of Childhood and Adolescence at the University Hospital RWTH Aachen aims to examine whether the work of early help can be further supported by mentalization-based teamwork and supervision. Mentalization competence describes the ability to empathize with others in order to facilitate the handling of difficult relationship situations in contact with families in early help. The aim of subproject 2 is to examine the developmental course of children aged 6 to 7 of teenage mothers in comparison to children of adult mothers. These mother-child dyads were studied from as early as 3 months of age through kindergarten age at four measurement time points as part of UBICA-I. (PIs: Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann, Kerstin Konrad.)
  • BMBF-EMPOWERYOU: The research project "EMPOWERYOU" aims to strengthen children, adolescents and young adults growing up in foster or adoptive families or in youth welfare institutions. In particular, children, adolescents and young adults are to be supported in coping with previous stressful experiences and in not (re)experiencing bullying or violence. (PI: Kerstin Konrad; togehter with: A. Lohaus, Uiversität Bielefeld;  Ebner-Priemer, KIT Karlsruhe; N. Heinrichs, Uni Bremen;  Wagner, MSB Berlin)


  • Innofond HoT: Home treatment bei adoleszenter Anorexia nervosa: The Innovation Fund Project is a multicenter randomized controlled trial with Aachen as PI. Based on a large sample of 170 patients with anorexia nervosa, a multiprofessional home treatment (treatment at home) will be compared with the treatment gold standard (inpatient or day hospital treatment). Through intensive training of parents and patient at home, we hope to improve the prognosis of this disease that tends to chronify.  (PI: Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann)
  • RbG – Scientific evaluation of a psychological-telemedical counseling concept for smoking cessation in patients with vascular diseases (Innovation Fund): Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death in Germany. One of the most common cardiovascular diseases is peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAVD). In this case, circulatory disorders occur in the legs, which in the worst case can lead to impaired physical performance, severe pain and amputations. Smoking is the central risk factor for this disease. The aim of the interdisciplinary project is therefore to scientifically evaluate the practicability, acceptance and efficiency of a multi-stage cessation concept for people with peripheral arterial occlusive disease. (PIs: Ute Habel, B Clemens)

Projects funded by the German Research Foundation Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG):

  • NHR4CES (National High Performance Computing Center for Computational Engineering Sciences), PI: Rossetti.
  • DFG Research group FOR2715 Epileptogenesis in genetic epilepsies: The international consortium is investigating the etiopathogenesis of genetic epilepsies using a wide range of methods including different animal models, human slice cultures and Next Generation Sequencing methods. The Aachen-based project focuses on the genetic analysis of developmental and epileptic encephalopathies and the functional investigation of the detected genes in human slice cultures and the Drosophila melanogaster model. PI: Yvonne Weber.
  • DFG: PainOME: Deciphering pain mechanisms with spatial single cell resolution: (SEQ3012), sequencing call. PI: Ingo Kurth, Naja Haag, Koop.: A. Lampert.
  • ENISNIP: European Network on Inherited Sensory Neuropathies and Insensitivity to Pain. The molecular cause of genetic painlessness will be further investigated. The methodological approach lies in the field of genome analysis by means of next-generation and third-generation sequencing procedures as well as the interpretation of the data by model systems. The knowledge about the genes and mechanisms of the missing pain sensation could not only benefit the affected patients with rare diseases, but also show ideal starting points for new pharmacotherapies for patients with acute or chronic pain. PI: Ingo Kurth. Miriam Elbracht, Katja Eggermann, Annette Lischka
  • DFG Graduate school MultiSenses-Multiscales The aim of the RTG MultiSenses - MultiScales is to gain a conceptual understanding of the mechanisms that govern the integration of sensory information at multiple levels. Our goal is to train experts who can master the transition from cells to systems and behavior. Combined with innovative skill elements, professional skills development, and most importantly, the opportunity to conduct independent research in a supportive environment, neuroscientists will be trained to compete at the highest international level. Leadership: Prof. Dr. Marc Spehr (Fakultät 1, RWTH). PIs: Angelika Lampert, Till Marquardt, Giulia Rossetti, Jörg Schulz.


Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF):

  • BMBF TreatIon: New therapies for neurological ion channel and transporter diseases: The Treat-ION research network consists of a network of experts with multiple sites in Germany. The network has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2019, and the second funding period began in November 2022. The collaboration of researchers and clinicians, including patient representatives, aims to increase knowledge about the detection and treatment of rare neurological ion channel and transporter diseases. The subproject in Aachen is carried out in collaboration with the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine and deals with further development of an existing registry (EpiReg) for rare disease as well as the establishment of a Clinical Decision Support System for digital monitoring of diagnostics and therapy with assessment of the phenotype and association with the detected variants as well as presentation of possible precision medicine approaches. PI: Yvonne Weber
  • BMBF Mondy: Medical solutions for digital healthcare. The research association consisting of various industrial and academic partners has been funded by the BMBF since the end of 2021. The goal of MONDY is to create a secure, open, and interoperable technical platform for healthcare apps that designs or implements both data storage and data processing in a secure and compliant manner. The platform provides AI building blocks that enable combinatorial evaluation of different disease patterns. As an example, the two clinical pictures epilepsy and depression are considered and the apps "monikit" (mobile epilepsy seizure detection) and "STEADY" (early detection of depressive episodes) are combined in the platform.  PI: Yvonne Weber.
  • BMBF initiative project Precision2Treat: PRECISION Drug Therapy to TREAT Pain Patients. The project focuses on making stem cell-derived neurons from patients accessible for drug screenings. The main focus of this project is on patients with small fiber neuropathies (SFN) or erythromelalgia (IEM). By testing drugs on patient-derived cells, it is possible that previously poorly treatable pain patients could be potentially helped with personalized therapy in the future. PIs: Ralf Hausmann, Angelika Lampert.