Eckhard Mandelkow, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)

Dr. Eckhard Mandelkow studied physics in Braunschweig, New Orleans, and Hamburg, and received his doctoral degree at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg (for work on the structure of tobacco mosaic virus). This was followed by postdoctoral training at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA (on the structure of cytoskeletal proteins). Later he moved to the Deutsches Elektronensynchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, Germany, and worked as director at the Max Planck Unit for Structural Molecular Biology, professor at Hamburg University, and scientific member of the Max Planck Society. His research focuses on structural molecular biology by X-rays using synchrotron radiation, image reconstruction and electron microscopy; cytoskeleton (microtubules, motor proteins); the structure, function, and aggregation of tau protein and protein kinases in Alzheimer disease; and the development of tau aggregation inhibitors. He is recipient of a 2010 Metlife Award and a 2011 Potamkin Award. In 2011, he joined the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn (DZNE) as a Principal Investigator. For publications, see

Funded Research

Project Description Researchers Funding
Tau Missorting in AD—Causes and Consequences

During the development of Alzheimer’s dementia, multiple changes occur in brain cells, making the search for and treatment of underlying causes difficult. Therefore, a key goal of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research is to identify early changes occurring long before cognitive deficits become apparent. One such event is the so-called "missorting" of tau protein, which normally is found in the axons of neurons, but which in AD accumulates in the ''wrong'' compartments, the cell bodies and dendrites.

2015 to 2017