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Prof. Dr. Nilima Prakash

Applied Genetics and Stem Cell Biology

Profile | Prof. Dr. Nilima Prakash

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Teaching and Research topics

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Developmental Neurobiology / Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Working group Human Stem Cell Research (link)

Research focus within the topic "Medicine"

  • Deciphering of the molecular genetic code for the selective generation of midbrain dopaminergic nerve cell and their subtypes in the culture dish.
  • A special emphasis is put on the subtype-specific generation of these neurons that is activated or suppressed by electrophysiological activities (calcium currents).
  • Development of a subtype-specific protocol for the manufacturing of midbrain dopaminergic neurons for the regenerative (stem cell-based) therapy of Parkinson’s Disease and the modeling of disease-relevant aspects or testing of small therapeutic molecules for other dopamine-associated neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., drug addiction and schizophrenia).

Research project


  • Acquisition of third party funding
  • Planning and execution of research projects
  • Counseling in genetic engineering and molecular biology

References / previous employer

  • Helmholtz Center Munich
  • Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry Munich
  • Weizmann Institute of Science Israel
  • Karolinska Institutet Stockholm

Professional experience

Since 08/2017 - Professorial Member of the section "Life Sciences and Health Technologies", Graduate Center NRW
Since 06/2015 - Professor (W2) of Applied Genetics and Stem Cell Biology, Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences, Campus Hamm/Germany
Since 07/2013 - Adjunct Teaching Professor, Technical University of Munich/Germany (dormant)
11/2004 – 05/2015 - Head of Team "Neuronal Differentiation and Maintenance", Institute of Developmental Genetics, Helmholtz Center Munich/Germany
11/2001 – 10/2004 - Research Scientist, Research Group Molecular Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich/Germany
07/2000 – 10/2001 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot/Israel
03/1998 – 06/2000 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept. of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm/Sweden
01/1994 – 03/1994 - Research Associate, Institute of Zoology, University of Regensburg/Germany

Academic Education

02 / 2013 - Habilitation in the subject area "Molecular Neurogenetics", Technical University of Munich/Germany
04/1994 – 02/1998 - Doctorate, Institute of Cell Biochemistry and Clinical Neurobiology, University-Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf and University of Hamburg/Germany
09/1990 – 03/1991 - Guest student, Division of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, King's College, University of London/United Kingdom
10/1987 – 09/1993 - Studies in Biology (Diploma), University of Konstanz/Germany

Awards and Honours

07 / 2013 - Science Prize Weihenstephan of the City of Freising 2013
11 / 2009 - Speaker Science Day 2009, Helmholtz Center Munich
06 / 2008 - Abstract Award, International Society for Developmental Neuroscience (ISDN) 17th Biennial Meeting 2008, Asilomar, CA/USA
11/2000 – 10/2002 - Fellowship from the Minerva Foundation (Max Planck Society)
07/1998 – 06/1999 - Fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Other Professional Experience and Activities

Since 02/2021 - Founding Deputy Director section "Life Sciences and Health Technologies", Graduate Center NRW
2019 – 2020 - Mentor in the Technical University of Munich (TUM) Mentoring Program
08/2019 – 01/2021 - Deputy Speaker section "Life Sciences", Graduate Center NRW
2011 – 2013 - Deputy Speaker and Speaker, Institute of Developmental Genetics, Helmholtz Center Munich
2005 – 2007 - Speaker, Institute of Developmental Genetics, Helmholtz Center Munich

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