Magdalena Banwinkler, Msc

Magdalena Banwinkler studied Psychology at the University of Vienna and obtained her Master’s degree in Biological Psychology in 2020. She joined the MMNI Group as a PhD candidate in March 2021 and is now performing her PhD training as part of the Collaborative Research Center “SFB 1451: Key mechanisms of motor control in health and disease”. The main objective of Magdalena Banwinkler’s research work is the investigation of structural and functional mechanisms that underlie Parkinson’s disease. To address her research aims she is using behavioral measurements as well as non-invasive neuroimaging methods, such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). With her work, she strives to gain a deeper understanding of the neural basis of motor control.


Hometown honours Dr. Bischof

Dr. Gérard Bischof was honored by his hometown as ” Werdohler Kopf” (head/mind of Werdohl). This award is given to those who have made a name for themselves in their field. Very right, Werdohl, we could not agree more.

Julia Lothmann, MSc

Julia Lothmann completed her master’s thesis on the predictability of regional amyloid burden for the progression to preclinical and clinical Alzheimer’s disease in 2020 at the MMNI group. She has recently joined the group and will investigate molecular and functional mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease, such as tau and amyloid accumulation in the brain. Her research interests further extend into the domain of cognitive reserve as well as the effects of lifestyle factors in regard to the development of neuropathology in Alzheimer’s disease.


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Verena Dzialas, MSc

Verena Dzialas is interested in reserve mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease patients. While the concept of reserve mechanisms is already well-established in Alzheimer’s disease, not much is known about factors mitigating the association between neurodegeneration and motor disability in Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, Verena Dzialas focuses on the investigation of neurobiological (e.g. gray matter volume (GMV) differences) and lifetime factors (e.g. physical activity) contributing to motor reserve capacity in Parkinson’s disease using multimodal imaging, voxel-vise GMV comparison and graph theoretical analysis. Moreover, she is interested in disease progression depending on the level of motor reserve, which is investigated with multilevel models.



Philipp Schlüter, BSc

Philipp Schlüter is a research fellow at the INM-2 at the Research Center Jülich and a researcher in the Multimodal Imaging Group.
He investigates the molecular mechanism in Alzheimer’s disease, such as production and transport of tau in the brain, using numerical models.
His research interest is in machine learning and AI methodologies.



Kathrin Giehl received a PhD

Kathrin Giehl received a PhD for her work entitled: Antagonizing Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease: Neural & Behavioural Effects of Home-based Working Memory Training.

– Congratulations!

Image of the Year award for the second time after 2016

The work of Dr. Merle Hönig on “Resistance to Tau and Amyloid Pathology Facilitates Super-Aging” was selected as the Image of the Year 2020 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

Our group receives this prestigious international award for the second time after 2016, when the work of Dr. Gérard Bischof has been awarded.

Merle Hönig receives Brain Imaging Council Young Investigator Award

Dr. Merle Hönig received the Brain Imaging Council Young Investigator Award 2020 at this year’s international conference of the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) for her presentation “Resistance to Tau and Amyloid Pathology Facilitates Super-Aging”.

As part of her presentation, Dr. Hoenig presented the results of a series of PET images that show that older adults who maintained peak cognitive skills exhibited greater resistance to build-up of Alzheimer’s disease-typical proteinopathies, namely tau and amyloid pathology.