SAB Chairperson.

Thomas Gasser is a Professor of Neurology and Director of the Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Center of Neurology at the University of Tübingen and Speaker of the German Center for Neurodegenerative diseases in Tübingen. Prof. Gasser studied medicine at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and at Yale University Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut. He received his professional training in psychiatry at the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, and in neurology at the Department of Neurology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. From 1991 to 1993 he trained as a post-doctoral fellow with a stipend of the German Research Foundation at the Neuroscience Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, in the laboratory of Prof. Xandra Breakefield. He returned to Munich to become Assistant Professor in neurology and Head of the Neurogenetics Unit as well as the Movement Disorders Outpatient Unit at the Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University. Prof. Gasser’s main areas of research are the genetic and molecular basis of Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and other movement disorders, as well as their diagnosis and treatment. His work is primarily focused on the identification of genes and loci that are involved in the development of Parkinson’s disease, and the analysis of the functional consequences of variations in the identified genes. These studies serve to identify drug targets and biomarkers for disease risk and progression. He conducted over 10 clinical trials according to GCP-criteria on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and dystonia since 1995. In 1998, Prof. Gasser received the Parkinson’s disease Award by the German Society of Neurology. He is author and co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed papers and about 100 reviews and book contributions and was awarded several prestigious research grants. Currently, he is coordinator of the Parkinson-network in the National Genome Network plus, which comprises 16 individual projects. Prof. Gasser serves as President of the German Society of Neurogenetics and Chairman of the study group Neurogenetics of the German Society of Neurology. He is a past Editor of the Newsletter of the Movement Disorders Society and member of several editorial boards.

Honours and Awards

  • 1985 Goedecke Research Award
  • 1998 Parkinson-Award of the German Neurologic Society

Main publications

  1. Zimprich A, Grabowski M, Asmus F, Naumann M, Berg D, Bertram M, Scheidtmann K, Kern P, Winkelmann J, Muller-Myhsok B, Riedel L, Bauer M, Muller T, Castro M, Meitinger T, Strom TM, Gasser T. Mutations in the gene encoding epsilon-sarcoglycan cause myoclonus-dystonia syndrome. NatGenet. 2001 9/2001;29(1):66-9.
  2. Zimprich A, Biskup S, Leitner P, Lichtner P, Farrer M, Lincoln S, Kachergus J, Hulihan M, Uitti RJ, Calne DB, Stoessl AJ, Pfeiffer RF, Patenge N, Carbajal IC, Vieregge P, Asmus F, Muller-Myhsok B, Dickson DW, Meitinger T, Strom TM, Wszolek ZK, Gasser T. Mutations in LRRK2 Cause Autosomal-Dominant Parkinsonism with Pleomorphic Pathology. Neuron. 2004 Nov 18;44(4):601-7.
  3. Mueller JC, Fuchs J, Hofer A, Zimprich A, Lichtner P, Illig T, Berg D, Wullner U, Meitinger T, Gasser T. Multiple regions of alpha-synuclein are associated with Parkinson’s disease. Ann Neurol. 2005 Mar 22;57(4):535-41.
  4. Scholz SW, Houlden H, Schulte C, Sharma M, Li A, Berg D, Melchers A, Paudel R, Gibbs JR, Simon-Sanchez J, Paisan-Ruiz C, Bras J, Ding J, Chen H, Traynor BJ, Arepalli S, Zonozi RR, Revesz T, Holton J, Wood N, Lees A, Oertel W, Wullner U, Goldwurm S, Pellecchia MT, Illig T, Riess O, Fernandez HH, Rodriguez RL, Okun MS, Poewe W, Wenning GK, Hardy JA, Singleton AB, Gasser T. SNCA variants are associated with increased risk for multiple system atrophy. Ann Neurol. 2009 Mar 18;65(5):610-4.
  5. Simon-Sanchez J, Schulte C, Bras JM, Sharma M, Gibbs JR, Berg D, Paisan-Ruiz C, Lichtner P, Scholz SW, Hernandez DG, Kruger R, Federoff M, Klein C, Goate A, Perlmutter J, Bonin M, Nalls MA, Illig T, Gieger C, Houlden H, Steffens M, Okun MS, Racette BA, Cookson MR, Foote KD, Fernandez HH, Traynor BJ, Schreiber S, Arepalli S, Zonozi R, Gwinn K, van der Brug M, Lopez G, Chanock SJ, Schatzkin A, Park Y, Hollenbeck A, Gao J, Huang X, Wood NW, Lorenz D, Deuschl G, Chen H, Riess O, Hardy JA, Singleton AB, Gasser T. Genome-wide association study reveals genetic risk underlying Parkinson’s disease. Nat Genet. 2009 Dec;41(12):1308-12.