Aging – an unfavorable aspect of life?

The Cologne Cluster of Excellence in Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-associated Diseases provides an extremely dynamic environment for research into the aging process and related diseases. Our aim is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the aging process and thereby enable new therapies for aging-associated diseases such as cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders to be developed. CECAD takes an interdisciplinary and international approach – its outstanding research teams working in six main project areas, enable the group to maintain a leading position in international research on the aging process.

This provides us with many opportunities: Up to now the aging process has been examined from the perspective of different disciplines, but CECAD's interdisciplinary approach will reveal cross-over points between traditional research areas, and should help to identify common underlying causes for age-related diseases. The new CECAD Research Center was opened in May 2013 – an important milestone in consolidation of the communications network between the scientists affiliated to the University of Cologne, the University Hospital of Cologne, the Max Planck Institutes for Biology of Aging and Neurological Research as well as the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).

Research into aging-related diseases is of high social relevance – however, it is not simply about increasing people’s lifespan, but ensuring that their quality of life remains good. This is an important concern of CECAD, and more than a reflection of societal themes in a research context. With the current demographic changes set to continue for decades to come and possibly accelerate, CECAD’s research will become of crucial importance.

CECAD is funded via the DFG within the excellence initiative set up by the German federal and state governments.


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Astrid Bergmeister MBA