Watchdogs of the Brain: How Local Immune Cells Regulate Health and Disease

Please join us for our first in-person event in 2021!

Co-hosted by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the University of Freiburg, and 1014 – Space for Ideas, the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) New York welcomes you to the upcoming Leibniz Lecture featuring neuroscientists Dr. Marco Prinz and Dr. Matthias Haury.

Event Recording

Event Recording

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Event Information

November 17, 2021, 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

1014 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York
Organizer(s): DWIH New York, DFG North America, the University of Freiburg, German Consulate General New York, 1014

The human brain resembles a highly secured corporate headquarters. A squad of inspectors constantly keeps an eye on offices and hallways, gathers a glut of sensory data from the whole building and raises alert at the suspicion of even the tiniest irregularities. Neuroscientists call this squad microglia. What sets those microglia apart from the two other types of glial cells – astrocytes and oligodendrocytes – is that they are only on loan from the immune system, which has a completely different task: to detect and react to infections in the human body but outside the human brain. Cutting-edge neuroscience has shown that microglia cells nevertheless play a crucial role in a wide range of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Professor Prinz will talk about these insights and what they could mean for the development of treatments for some of the most common neurodegenerative diseases.

Our Experts:

Dr. Haury is Chief Operating Officer at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, in Jupiter, FL. He is an accomplished scientist with a Ph.D. in Immunology from the Pasteur Institute in Paris and a postdoc at University of California, San Francisco. As Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Haury was instrumental in establishing the Gulbenkian Institute of Science (IGC) in Oeiras, Portugal, before joining the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany as Coordinator for Advanced Training. He then headed to Brussels to run a European Commission-funded research networking program.
Dr. Matthias Haury
Marco Prinz is Professor of Neuropathology and Chair of the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Dr. Prinz obtained his MD at the Charitè, Humboldt-University Berlin in 1997. He performed his residency in Neuropathology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, where he studied the role of the peripheral and CNS-restricted immune system for the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as prion diseases. He was recruited to the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2008 and promoted to the rank of Full Professor and Chair of the Institute of Neuropathology. Dr. Prinz’s laboratory studies the mechanisms that regulate the development and function of the mononuclear phagocyte lineage in the central nervous system, including microglia and perivascular and meningeal macrophages. His laboratory has made seminal discoveries in CNS macrophage biology revealing their embryonic origin and their local maintenance in situ. Currently, his research group aims to understand myeloid cell biology in the CNS during health and disease and studies the impact of the immune system on the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases, ultimately aimed at recognizing novel therapeutic strategies and targets to treat these central nervous system diseases.
Dr. Marco Prinz

Welcome Remarks by:

Dr. Kathrin DiPaola, Program Manager, DWIH New York

Yasemin Pamuk, Head of the Cultural Affairs and Science Department, German Consulate General New York

Dr.-Ing. Georg Bechtold, Program Director, DFG Office North America


6:15 PM – Doors Open/ Check-In

6:35 PM – Welcome Remarks by DWIH NY, German Consulate, and DFG

6:45 PM – Introduction by Dr. Haury

6:55 PM – Lecture by Dr. Prinz

7:25 PM – Q&A

8:00 PM – Closing Remarks and Reception


1014 - Space for Ideas

1014 New York

Address: 1014 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10028