We use different in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the effects  of  food and bioactive food ingredients as well as pharmacological substances on physiological and pathological parameters reflecting the situation in the aging brain and in neurodegeneration. In cooperation with partners from nutritional science and medicine, we aim to evaluate our data in human studies. Standard analytical methods are used to determine the composition of food and food ingredients. Molecular, cellular and biochemical methods together with special techniques are used to characterize the biofunctional or pharmacological effects of test substrates. 

The fully equipped laboratories (140 square meter) are located in the Biomedical Research Center Seltersberg (BFS) Schubertstrasse 81, BFS, 35392 Giessen, Germany.

Basic lab methods



Francesco Visioli, Madrid, Spain

W. Gibson Wood, Minneapolis, USA

Nicolas Bazan, New Orleans, USA

Shaowu Cheng, Changsha, China

Wei Yi Ong, Singapore

Michael Heinrich, London, UK

Bernd Fiebich, Freiburg, Germany

Ina Bergheim, Wien

Jan Frank, Hohenheim, Germany

Clemens Kunz, Gießen, Germany

Silvia Rudloff, Gießen, Germany

Johannes Pantel, Frankfurt, Germany

Ulrich Pilatus, Frankfurt, Germany

Elke Hattingen, Frankfurt, Germany

Michael Göbel, Frankfurt, Germany

Nils H. Schebb, Wuppertal, Germany

Hans Zischka, Munich, Germany

Carsten Culmsee, Marburg, Germany

Andreas Schieber, Bonn, Germany


in vitro 

cells in culture:

  • SH-SY5Y cells
  • SY5Y-Mock cells
  • SY5Y-APP695 cells (Alzheimer model)
  • SH-SY5Y-P301 cells (Alzheimer model)
  • SY5Y-APPsw cells
  • PC12neo cells
  • PC12sw cells (Alzheimer model)
  • HEK-APPwt cells
  • HEK-APPsw cells (Alzheimer model)

ex vivo

  • human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), isolated from volunteers and patients
  • dissociated brain cells, isolated from murine brains

in vivo


  • aged NMRI mice
  • aged C57/BL6 mice


  • C. elegans, N2
  • C. elegans, CL2006 (Alzheimer model)

Behaviour tests:

  • Open field
  • Passive avoidance
  • Social recognition
  • Object recognition
  • Y-maze
  • Barnes-maze
  • Rotarod
  • Nesting
  • Enriched Environment
  • Volunteer physical activity 

Main Focus

The main focus of our research activities lies on biochemical mechanisms of age related neurodegenerative diseases and the modulation thereof by food-based prevention and pharmacological intervention.


Mevalonate Pathway (Cholesterol, Isoprenoids)



© Prof. Dr. Gunter P. Eckert 2018