Systems Biology of Aging

Aging society

Without any doubt, we live in an ageing society. In fact, aging is considered as one of the global issues for the United Nations (1). Dealing with the socio-economic consequences of this demographic change is a challenging task for our society (2).

As biomedical researchers we are convinced that an important contribution will be to find and develop treatments/interventions that are beneficial against aging-related diseases and aging-related health decline. The ultimate goal is not to prolong life-span, but to prolong the individual “health span”.

References and links:


Systems Biology of Ageing

This goal can only be achieved if we gain a deeper understanding of the ageing process on a cellular, molecular and organismal level (3). We therefore joined forces with other researchers from Cologne (from University, CECAD, and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing) to work on these questions with a systems biology approach. This research area is developed within the “Systems Biology of Ageing Cologne – Sybacol” consortium funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Reseach (BMBF). More information can be found on the consortiums web page at (4).

Group leader

Dr. Martin Höhne


  • Sabine Bertsch
  • Marie Brand, MD
  • Sebastian Dittrich
  • Stefanie Keller
  • Linus Völker, MD

Selected publications 

  1. Hoehne, M., Lorscheider, J., von Bardeleben, A., Dufner, M., Scharf, M. A., Goedel, M., Helmstaedter, M., Schurek, E.-M., Zank, S., Gerke, P., Kurschat, C., Sivritas, S. H., Neumann-Haefelin, E., Huber, T. B., Reinhardt, H. C., Schauss, A. C., Schermer, B., Fischbach, K.-F., Benzing, T. The BAR Domain Protein PICK1 Regulates Cell Recognition and Morphogenesis by Interacting with Neph Proteins. Molecular and Cellular Biology 2011;31:3241-3251.
  2. Voelker, L. A., Petry, M., Abdelsabour-Khalaf, M., Schweizer, H., Yusuf, F., Busch, T., Schermer, B., Benzing, T., Brand-Saberi, B., Kretz, O., Hoehne, M., Kispert, A. Comparative analysis of Neph gene expression in mouse and chicken development. Histochemistry and Cell Biology 2012;137:355-366.
  3. Hoehne, M., Ising, C., Hagmann, H., Voelker, L. A., Braehler, S., Schermer, B., Brinkkoetter, P. T., Benzing, T. Light Microscopic Visualization of Podocyte Ultrastructure Demonstrates Oscillating Glomerular Contractions. American Journal of Pathology 2013;182:332-338.
  4. Voelker, L. A., Schurek, E.-M., Rinschen, M. M., Tax, J., Schutte, B. A., Lamkemeyer, T., Ungrue, D., Schermer, B., Benzing, T., Hoehne, M. Characterization of a short isoform of the kidney protein podocin in human kidney. Bmc Nephrology 2013;14.
  5. Schurek, E. M., Voelker, L. A., Tax, J., Lamkemeyer, T., Rinschen, M. M., Ungrue, D., Kratz, J. E., 3rd, Sirianant, L., Kunzelmann, K., Chalfie, M., Schermer, B., Benzing, T., Hoehne, M. A disease-causing mutation illuminates protein membrane topology of the kidney-expressed PHB domain protein podocin. J Biol Chem 2014.