Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Stassart, Ruth, Dr.

Group leader: Remyelination and Nerve Repair, Department of Neurogenetics, Max-Planck-Institute of Experimental Medicine

  • Since 2014 Research group leader, Department of Neurogenetics, Max-Planck-Institute of Experimental Medicine, Göttingen, Germany
  • Since 2012 Resident in the Dept. of Neuropathology, University Medical Center Göttingen
  • 2013 MD, Georg-August-University Göttingen

Major Research Interests

The adult mammalian peripheral nervous system (PNS) harbors an exceptional plasticity, which allows the successful regeneration of axons and a subsequent functional recovery. Nerve repair is realized by a transdifferentiation of PNS glial cells, the Schwann cells, which guide axonal regrowth and restore the electrically insulating myelin sheath, necessary for rapid impulse propagation. Our research group focusses on the molecular mechanisms and cellular interactions that orchestrate peripheral nerve regeneration. We envision that the response of Schwann cells and axons to acute nerve injury is likewise integral part of chronic peripheral nerve diseases, such as hereditary or metabolic neuropathies. Translating the repair strategy of acutely damaged nerves to chronic PNS diseases helps us to gain new insight into the pathomechanisms of peripheral neuropathies and to develop therapeutic targets that promote nerve integrity and function.
Compared to the PNS, remyelination in the central nervous system (CNS) is much less robust and often severely impaired. This puzzling contrast motivates our interest in elucidating the distinct cell responses of oligodendrocytes in demyelinating diseases of the CNS compared to the peripheral counterpart.
For our research, we rely on genetically modified conditional mouse mutants and animal models for myelin diseases of the peripheral and central nervous system.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Stassart RM, Helms G, Garea-Rodríguez E, Nessler S, Hayardeny L, Wegner C, Schlumbohm C, Fuchs E, Brück W (2015). A New Targeted Model of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in the Common Marmoset. Brain Pathol. 26, 452-464
  • Stassart RM, Nave KA. (2015). Nerve regeneration: Specific metabolic demands? Exp Neurol. 269, 90-92.
  • Fledrich R*, Stassart RM* , Klink A, Rasch LM, Prukop T, Haag L, Czesnik D, Kungl T, Abdelaal TA, Keric N, Stadelmann C, Brück W, Nave KA, Sereda MW. (2014). Soluble neuregulin-1 modulates disease pathogenesis in rodent models of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease 1A. Nature Medicine. 20, 1055-1061.
  • Stassart RM*, Fledrich R*, Velanac V, Brinkmann BG, Schwab MH, Meijer D, Sereda MW, Nave KA. (2013). A role for Schwann cell-derived neuregulin-1 in remyelination. Nature Neuroscience. 16, 48-54