Research Grants

The Foundation supports research projects, scientific publications, events, and other activities focussing on the age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Our efforts are directed to translational approaches based on expertise in biology, biochemistry and biophysics to provide mechanistic, pharmacological and methodological insights for future clinical translation of novel, more specific and effective strategies for diagnosis, prevention and therapy.
In March 2012, the Board decided on a platform strategy, which is to offer basic researchers the possibility to address specifically and intensively special problems of neurodegenerative diseases. This platform is supposed to create structures that bring together expertise and develop new approaches for diagnosis and therapy. In a first step the Free University of Berlin set up a work plan and determined the target substances that are to be measured in two or more laboratories, using different methods if possible. In the frame of this strategy the following research projects are currently funded:

Prof. P. Saftig, Biochemisches Institut, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, together with
Prof. S. Lichtenthaler, Lehrstuhl für Neuroproteomik, Technische Universität München
Therapeutic potential of the Alzheimer alpha-secretase ADAM10
It is to be investigated which of the already identified ADAM10 substrate hits are true substrates and which ones are false positive, which of them undergo increased proteolytic cleavage upon activation of ADAM10, and which of the substrates contribute to the phenotypic changes observed in brains with altered ADAM10 activity.

Prof. P. Saftig, Biochemisches Institut, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel together with
Prof. Dr. Gerd Multhau, Pharmacology & Therapeutics Faculty, McGill University, Montreal
Tetraspanins in Alzheimer‘s disease
It is to be investigated if tetraspanin encoding genes, especially TSPAN15 and TSPAN3, are susceptible to transcriptional regulation mediated by nuclear Abeta, how far the expression levels of tetraspanins affect APP processing and Abeta generation, if tetraspanins affect intracellular APP transport and interaction with other proteins and secretases, and if tetraspanin-expression does affect APP metabolism in vivo.

Not related to the platform strategy the following research project is funded for two years since 2013:

Prof. S. Weggen, Institut für Neuropathologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
A novel metalloprotease in Abeta peptide generation and Alzheimer's disease
Based on already obtained preliminary data the effects of ADAMTS4, a metalloprotease, on Abeta generation in primary neurons and in transgenic Alzheimer mouse models are to be characterized. Aims are to confirm these effects, to investigate a direct interaction between ADAMTS4 and APP, to compare mRNA and protein expression levels of ADAMTS4 in brain samples from Alzheimer patients and non-demented controls, and to investigate the physiological relevance of ADAMTS4 for brain Abeta levels in vivo.

It is curently not possible to submit grant applications.