Research Network

Mainz | Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Mainz has established itself as the center of a very active neuroscience community with an international profile that focuses on adaptive mechanisms during development and disease.

The Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and its University Medical Center have two DFG-funded research units (Forschungsgruppe 926 Pathologie and Pathophysiologie des Endocannabinoidsystems, spokesperson: Beat Lutz;

1341 Barrel Cortical Function, spokesperson: Heiko Luhmann) which address these issues. Relevant recent appointments in this area of research will significantly strengthen the scientific environment in Mainz.


Mainz and Frankfurt have successfully joined forces with Heidelberg and Kaiserslautern in a research unit (1332 Physiological Functions of the APP Gene Family in the CNS, spokesperson: Ulrike Müller, Heidelberg; Vize-spokesperson: Thomas Deller, Frankfurt). This research focus is further bolstered by groups from the Max-Planck-Institutes for Biophysics and for Brain Research, both of which also focus on this topic. The common Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1080 entitled: “Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Neural Homeostasis” is established since January 2013 (DFG) as well as the CRC-TR 128 “Effector versus Regulatory Mechanisms in Multiple Sclerosis”, which is running since July 2012.

The large Rhine-Main pharmaceutical industry also makes an active contribution, particularly in terms of research funding. The Institute for Molecular Biology of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, for example, is financed by a Boehringer endowment that was established in July of 2010.Other industry-funded projects include: the BMFB-funded “Interdisziplinäres Zentrum for Klinische Studien” (Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Studies) in Mainz, the Merz-Stiftungprofessur (Merz Foundation Professorship) in Frankfurt, and the Frankfurt-based “Zentrum für Arzneimittlelforschung, Entwicklung und Sicherheit” (Center for Pharmaceutical Research, Development and Safety). Several other institutions focusing on pharmaceutical therapy are also funded by industry.

Frankfurt | Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience

A strong and internationally highly visible research focus on sensory systems and cognition exists in Frankfurt, and includes the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital of the Goethe University Frankfurt, the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, the Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, and the Ernst Strüngmann Institute as major stakeholders. In 2010, a 4 Million Euro grant of the Hessia-based LOEWE-program was awarded to the Frankfurt Initiative “Neuronal Coordination Research Focus Frankfurt” (spokesperson, Michael Wibral, Department of Neurology, Goethe-University Frankfurt), providing start-up funding for a CRC on higher cognitive functions. Further there is  a common Mainz-Frankfurt clinical research unit entitled “Neurobiology of Impulse Control” (Spokesperson: Klaus Lieb, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz).