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Funder/CentreGerman Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgesel...
Programme:Age-related macular degeneration (SPP 1088)
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German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft)

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Age-related macular degeneration (SPP 1088)Research Programme


Programme type

Research programme

Programme status


Total number of funded projects


Summary of key aims

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) has become the most common cause for legal blidness in industralised countries. In advanced stages of the disease affected patients lose their ability to read and to perform tasks of daily life. So far no efficient means for treatment have been developed, and, therefore, the outlook for the majority of patients is dismal. Furthermore, the pathogenesis is incompletely understood. ARMD is a complex, multifactorial disease , a better understanding of which can anly be achieved by co-operation of several disciplines and institutions to include basic scientists and clinicians. The majority of the potential participants of the DFG-ARMD research program has already contributed to the understanding of retinal diseases in co-operation with international groups. Their research activities shall now focus on the most common retinal disease, which cannot be cured to date. The goal is to identify molecular and cellbiological mechanisms that are responsible for the disease process and to develop efficient new treatment strategies. The aim of the research field genetics is to identify ARMD associated genes and to analyse those in animal modals. This shall be achieved by genomewide search using DNA from affected siblings (sib-pair-analysis) as well by isolating retina specific genes. Epidemiological investigations shall reveal not only genetic but also environmental and medical factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of ARMD. Within project area cell and molecular biology, molecular mechanism of the pathogeneis of the disease in the outer retina shall be determined. Hereby age-related alterations of the retinal pigment epithelium as well as interactions between nerve and glial cells of the retina will be studied. Furthermore, mechanisms responsible for the two pathogenetic final pathways of the advanced disease process, i.e. choroidal nevoascularisation as well as geographic atrophy of the RPE will be examined. Project area functional tests include further and new developments for macular function testing and complex visual performances, which will also be helpful for analysing and characterising future animal models as well as for eveluation of therapeutic interventions. Furthermoe, novel imaging techniques should be applied to assess metabolic changes in the RPE associated with the disease process. The project area experimental therapy aims at developing new treatment modalities both in animal models as well as in humans.

Management contact

Astrid Golla
Kennedyallee 40
53175 Bonn

Scientific contact

Bernd Kirchof
+49 (0)221 478-4105
Universitat zu Koln
Kerpener Strasse 62
50931 Koln

Funding contact

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Kennedyallee 40
53175 Bonn

Is the project externally evaluated?


Who has evaluated, or will evaluate, the programme?


What forms of international collaboration does the programme support?

  • ▪ Foreign collaborators working in their own countries
  • ▪ Travel for foreign collaborators
  • ▪ National researchers abroad
  • ▪ Travel for national researchers

Interdisciplinary research is a strategic priority...

  • For the programme ✔
  • For the funding agency ✔
  • Nationally ✔