Coordinator of the LipiDiDiet Project
Hartmann's group is the most cited for the topic of lipids in Alzheimer's disease. Hartmann was the coordinator of the preceding FP5 LipiDiet project. He has published highly on different aspects of AD covering a broad range of topics ranging from basic aspects of the molecular and cellular biology of AD over new approaches to the early diagnosis of AD to clinical trials. As an excellent molecular and cellular biologist he shifted over the last decade a major part of his attention towards lipid based disease intervention and disease prevention in AD. He provided the first experimental proof that statins lower amyloid levels in vivo, conducted the first pilot prospective double blind placebo controlled statin treatment trial to slow down disease progression in AD and identified the molecular mechanism by which cholesterol regulation is linked to Aß production. Hartmann strongly believes that scientific progress can only be achieved by close interaction between basic and applied science. His work was awarded the prestigious Alois Alzheimer price at the centennial anniversary of the discovery of Alzheimers disease 2006. His broad knowledge base, high international reputation in the field of dementia research, as much as his managing capabilities qualify him as the coordinator for the high demands LipiDiDiet will bring along.
Fassbender is an expert on neuroinflammation and microglia properties, especially in AD. Because inflammation is a very important aspect with a high likelihood to represent on MOA that is actually responsible or contributing to the DHA mediated in disease progression arrest he was asked to join the consortium. He also has a very good background on the role of lipids in AD (Fassbender PNAS 2001). Using in vivo microdialysis techniques, they first demonstrated that aggregated Aß, the main component in senile plaques of AD, but soluble Aß cause pronounced innate immune responses in the living brain. They identified the LPS receptor, as a receptor mediating Aß-induced microglial activation associated with release of strongly neurotoxic molecules and as important receptor for Aß phagocytosis. Taken together this clearly qualifies him as a member of the consortium. Moreover, he is a coordinator of a previous successful EU project (MANAD).