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CECAD - Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases

The Cluster of Excellence CECAD at the Faculties of Medicine and of Mathematics and Natural Sciences explores aging processes and age-related diseases.

  • Funded since 1 November 2007
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Key Profile Area “Aging-Associated Diseases”
  • Doctoral Researchers (2023): 248 (among them 227 Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences)
  • Professors recruited in the current funding period: 2
  • 6 high-tech facilities
  • Relevant Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3), Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10)

In times of an aging society, age-related diseases such as diabetes and obesity as well as kidney, skin and neurodegenerative diseases are on the rise. This poses major economic and social challenges to society. In the Cluster of Excellence CECAD, molecular and cellular mechanisms of aging are elucidated.

The aim is to understand the molecular basis of aging processes and age-related diseases in order to define new approaches for their prevention, diagnosis and treatment. 

Interdisciplinary teams explore the mechanisms in the cell as well as the interactions between tissues and organs and the influence of the environment on the aging organism. Findings from basic research as well as associated projects on unique, Europe-wide patient cohorts are incorporated into CECAD's translational research from “bench to bedside and back”.

More than 650 scientists and physicians from the University, the University Hospital, the Max Planck Institutes for Biology of Aging and for Metabolism Research, and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases work together at one location. Successfully established platforms for technology development, new approaches to training and career development are further pillars that distinguish CECAD as an internationally leading and attractive center in biomedical aging research.

CECAD is one of 14 Clusters that has been funded for three funding periods.


Prof. Dr. Carien Niessen
Research leader
Phone: +49 221 478 89512

Dr. Sibylle Grandel
Phone: +49 221 478 84046

Astrid Zippel
Project manager
Phone: +49 221 478 84048