Dr Edgar Kramer
Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases
• Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Biomedical Research Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Plymouth, UK
• Senior Investigator Scientist, Mouse Models of Neurodegeneration Group, Mammalian Genetics Unit MRC Harwell, UK
• 2016 Research Group Leader, Clinic for Neurology and Institute for Applied Physiology, Medical Faculty, Ulm University, Germany
• 2008-2016 Research Group Leader, Center for Molecular Neurobiology (ZMNH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), University of Hamburg, Germany
• 2009 Habilitation in Zoology at the Department of Biology, University of Hamburg, Germany
• 2008 Habilitation in Neurobiology at the Department of Biology II LMU in Munich, Germany
• 2001-2008 Postdoc in Neuroscience at the EMBL in Heidelberg and at the Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany
• 1996-2000 PhD in Biochemistry at the IMP, Vienna Biocenter, University of Vienna, Austria
• 1991-1996 Studies of Biology (Diploma), University of Konstanz, Germany, and State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York, USA
Roles on external bodies
• Editorial board of the journals: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience; Neural Regeneration Research (NRR); Mental Health and Addiction Research (MHAR); ScienceMatters
• Reviewer board of the journal: Open Journal of Parkinson’s Disease and Treatment
Areas of teaching interest relate to molecular neuroscience in particular neurodegenerative diseases like Morbus Parkinson.
Staff serving as external examiners
University of Helsinki, Finland
• Cell surface proteins of neurons have a multitude of functions during development and maintenance of the nervous system. During development cell surface proteins allow to communicate with the surrounding cells and the extracellular matrix for proper proliferation, migration, differentiation and contact formation in the complex network. But also in the mature and aging nervous system they are needed for electrical activity, neuronal communication, survival and even regeneration. Alterations in cell surface protein signalling have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as motoneuron diseases, Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) but also in diseases such depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. There are many cross-talks of different cell surface proteins on neuronal membranes which even can be different concerning their localization in axons, dendrites, synapses and other specialized membrane structures. In addition they are connected with the intraneuronal processes by a large amount of signalling and regulatory pathways. So far our knowledge about neuronal cell surface protein interaction, signalling and their physiological function is still limited.
• My research group focuses on investigating the cross-talk and function of the glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) receptors, such as the receptor tyrosine kinase Ret, the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), integrins, N-cadherins, and syndecan 3 in the midbrain dopaminergic system altered in PD patients and drug addicts and in motoneurons innervating the skeletal muscles. In addition, we analyse the function of different intracellular proteins encoded by genes mutated or linked to PD. We study their signalling mechanisms on a molecular and cellular level as well as in intact animals. Therefore, we use diverse experimental approaches such as molecular biological techniques, cell culture, mouse genetics, histology, as well as behavioural and physiological experiments.
• To enhance the analysis of the midbrain dopaminergic and the peripheral nervous system we also developed unique tools for genetic manipulation and in vivo and in vitro imaging and quantification.
Besides our interest to understand the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases and to develop corresponding treatments, we are also interested in other disease such as drug addiction and cancer as well as neurodevelopmental alterations.
Key publications are highlightedJournals