The Institute

IGSAD Logo The Institute for Genome Stability in Aging and Disease (IGSAD) is devoted to investigating the molecular mechanism of aging and chronic diseases. Aging is strongly correlated with a host of human pathologies, most prominently with cancer, inflammatory, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as general functional decline. It is, therefore, of outstanding interest to further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying human aging and disease. DNA damage has been shown to play a central role both in cancer and, more recently, in aging. DNA damage can lead to genetic aberrations such as mutations that fuel cancer development. DNA damage can also interfere with transcription and replication leading to cell death, cellular senescence, and decline of cellular functionality. Consequently, stem cell compartments are deprived and differentiated cells degenerate.  To protect from these outcomes, eukaryotes have evolved the DNA damage response, a complex network of signaling and repair mechanisms. The DNA damage response spans across all cellular compartments ranging from epigenetic alterations to the disruption of metabolism and proteostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation. The IGSAD aims to unravel the  molecular mechanism through which DNA damage promotes the aging process, causes cancer and age-related diseases. IGSAD scientists investigate DNA repair mechanisms that maintain the stability of the genome and how genome structure is maintained. We are using the genetic model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans, mammalian disease models and human tissue cultures. IGSAD groups are associated with the CECAD excellence cluster of aging research, the University Hospital of Cologne, the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).




Scientists from Cologne and Münster investigate how DNA damage triggers the development of age-related diseases / Results could help to prevent age-related diseases...

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Densely packed DNA in female worms

Damage to the paternal genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans cannot be repaired and is instead passed on to its offspring, while the female egg repairs or limits the damage / publication in 'Nature'....

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The Aging and Drug Discovery Conference (ARDD) 2022 is pleased to present Bjorn Schumacher from the University of Cologne, with the talk Genome Stability in Aging and disease....

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Meyer DH, Schumacher B.Nat Aging. 2024 May 9. doi: 10.1038/s43587-024-00619-x. Online ahead of print.PMID: 38724736...

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Ropert B, Gallrein C, Schumacher B.DNA Repair (Amst). 2024 Apr 16;138:103679. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2024.103679. Online ahead of print.PMID: 38640601...

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Arvanitaki ES, Goulielmaki E, Gkirtzimanaki K, Niotis G, Tsakani E, Nenedaki E, Rouska I, Kefalogianni M, Xydias D, Kalafatakis I, Psilodimitrakopoulos S, Karagogeos D, Schumacher B, Stratakis E, Garinis GA.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Apr 23;121(17):e2317402121. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2317402121. Epub...

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