The principal investigator Christian Haass studied biology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He received awards from the Heidelberg Society for Molecular Biology for both his diploma thesis (1986) and his PhD thesis (1989). He moved to Boston, Massachusetts, for a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Neurologic Diseases, Harvard Medical School. In 1993 he was appointed assistant professor for neurology at this institution. During this period, he made major discoveries that helped to understand how the Alzheimer's disease amyloid b-peptide is generated at the molecular and cellular level. Upon his return to Germany, where he was appointed associate professor for molecular biology at the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim in 1995 and full professor for neurobiochemistry at the Department of Biomedicine I, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich in 1999, he broadened his scientific approach by investigating the structure, function and amyloidogenesis Alzheimer's disease causing presenilin-dependent intramembrane protease complexes. The move to Munich was accompanied by the establishment of a Parkinson's disease research group that initially focused on the first PD gene, a-synuclein. A unique variety of experimental systems are being used now to investigate chronic neurodegenerative aggregation diseases, including protein biochemistry, vertebrate and invertebrate cell cultures, yeast and nematode models, transgenic mice, and human pathobiochemistry. The success of this open-minded approach is reflected by a number of awards and prizes Christian Haass received in the past years, including the Organon Research Award, Award of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Award of the German Brain League, International Alois Alzheimer Award, Family Hansen Award, Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award (with $1,500,000 the maximum endowed German Research Award), and the Potamkin Award of the American Academy of Neurology.