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Research Group Harms

Molecular stroke research

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Prof. Christoph Harms, MD

Head of Research Group Harms (Cell Cycle and Brain Ischemia)

CCM: Campus Charité Mitte

Prof. Christoph Harms, MD

Profile Christoph Harms

Christoph Harms, MD (born 1973) is a tenured Associated Professor of Molecular Stroke Research at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin's Center for Stroke Research, Department of Experimental Neurology. Christoph Harms's research focuses on rodent stroke research, brain imaging, and molecular stroke therapeutics. He is especially interested in how the brain defends itself ('endogenous neuroprotection') and how the brain's plasticity might be boosted to promote stroke healing and functional recovery. Collateral plasticity and post-stroke angiogenesis, he argues, are critical requirements for retuning disrupted networks and reducing symptom load.

Selected publications

Rodent models for gait network disorders in Parkinson's disease - a translational perspective.
Wenger N, Vogt A, Skrobot M, Garulli EL, Kabaoglu B, Salchow-Hömmen C, Schauer T, Kroneberg D, Schuhmann MK, Ip CW, Harms C, Endres M, Isaias IU, Tovote P, Blum R.
Exp Neurol. 2022 Jun;352:114011. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2022.114011. Epub 2022 Feb 14.
PMID: 35176273.

Formation and Maintenance of the Natural Bypass Vessels of the Brain.
Perovic T, Harms C, Gerhardt H.
Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Mar 22;9:778773. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.778773.
PMID: 35391845; PMCID: PMC8980479.

Paracrine Interleukin 6 Induces Cerebral Remodeling at Early Stages After Unilateral Common Carotid Artery Occlusion in Mice.
Kuffner MTC, Koch SP, Kirchner M, Mueller S, Lips J, An J, Mertins P, Dirnagl U, Endres M, Boehm-Sturm P, Harms C, Hoffmann CJ.
Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Jan 27;8:805095. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2021.805095.
PMID: 35155612; PMCID: PMC8830347.

Zfp580 Regulates Paracrine and Endocrine Igf1 and Igfbp3 Differently in the Brain and Blood After a Murine Stroke.
Hoffmann CJ, Kuffner MTC, Lips J, Lorenz S, Endres M, Harms C.
Front Physiol. 2022 Apr 26;13:887180. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.887180.
PMID: 35557964; PMCID: PMC9089756.

Experimental deep brain stimulation in rodent models of movement disorders.
Knorr S, Musacchio T, Paulat R, Matthies C, Endres H, Wenger N, Harms C, Ip CW.
Exp Neurol. 2022 Feb;348:113926. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113926. Epub 2021 Nov 15.
PMID: 34793784.

Somatostatin interneurons activated by 5-HT2A receptor suppress slow oscillations in medial entorhinal cortex.
de Filippo R, Rost BR, Stumpf A, Cooper C, Tukker JJ, Harms C, Beed P, Schmitz D.
Elife. 2021 Mar 31;10:e66960. doi: 10.7554/eLife.66960.
PMID: 33789079; PMCID: PMC8016478.

SorCS2 facilitates release of endostatin from astrocytes and controls post-stroke angiogenesis.
Malik AR, Lips J, Gorniak-Walas M, Broekaart DWM, Asaro A, Kuffner MTC, Hoffmann CJ, Kikhia M, Dopatka M, Boehm-Sturm P, Mueller S, Dirnagl U, Aronica E, Harms C, Willnow TE.
Glia. 2020 Jun;68(6):1304-1316. doi: 10.1002/glia.23778. Epub 2020 Jan 3.
PMID: 31898841.

Atlas registration for edema-corrected MRI lesion volume in mouse stroke models.
Koch S, Mueller S, Foddis M, Bienert T, von Elverfeldt D, Knab F, Farr TD, Bernard R, Dopatka M, Rex A, Dirnagl U, Harms C, Boehm-Sturm P.
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2019 Feb;39(2):313-323. doi: 10.1177/0271678X17726635. Epub 2017 Aug 22.
PMID: 28829217; PMCID: PMC6360485.

Unique properties of PTEN-L contribute to neuroprotection in response to ischemic-like stress.
Jochner MCE, An J, Lättig-Tünnemann G, Kirchner M, Dagane A, Dittmar G, Dirnagl U, Eickholt BJ, Harms C.
Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 28;9(1):3183. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39438-1.
PMID: 30816308; PMCID: PMC6395706.

Interaction of ARC and Daxx: A Novel Endogenous Target to Preserve Motor Function and Cell Loss after Focal Brain Ischemia in Mice.
Donath S, An J, Lee SL, Gertz K, Datwyler AL, Harms U, Müller S, Farr TD, Füchtemeier M, Lättig-Tünnemann G, Lips J, Foddis M, Mosch L, Bernard R, Grittner U, Balkaya M, Kronenberg G, Dirnagl U, Endres M, Harms C.
J Neurosci. 2016 Aug 3;36(31):8132-48. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4428-15.2016.
PMID: 27488634; PMCID: PMC4971361.

Vascular signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 promotes angiogenesis and neuroplasticity long-term after stroke.
Hoffmann CJ, Harms U, Rex A, Szulzewsky F, Wolf SA, Grittner U, Lättig-Tünnemann G, Sendtner M, Kettenmann H, Dirnagl U, Endres M, Harms C.
Circulation. 2015 May 19;131(20):1772-82. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.013003. Epub 2015 Mar 20.
PMID: 25794850.

Most important projects

Restoring of Motor Function after Stroke
Restoring of Motor Function after Stroke

Restoring of Motor Function after Stroke

In this project we are investigating the role of different neurotransmitter systems in the recovery processes after stroke. We are using different modes of stimulation (e.g., electrical deep brain stimulation) to meliorate motor deficits and to explore the underlying mechanisms.

Cooperation: SFB RETUNE TRR 295, AG Wenger

Local Inflammation and Recovery after Stroke

In this key project we are examining the roles of inflammation and corresponding cytokines in their role in stroke formation. Here we try to intervene in certain pathways to enhance recovery after stroke.

Collaboration: Prof. Grantin, DFG Funding IL6, Phagocytosis

Collateral and Blood Vessel Plasticity (Cooperation Prof. H. Gerhardt, Leducq Foundation)

In this key project we like to take a look at the blood vessel formation and collateralization during stroke. We are trying to understand the different factors that lead to an improved outcome.

Further projects

Endogenous Neuroprotection

Here we are trying to utilize different molecules to take a look at how they are affecting neuroprotection after stroke. We are using several methods for molecular investigation of those systems like cell culture and blotting.

Modelling of Stroke Outcome Prediction of Outcome after Stroke (MRI, Lesion Symptom Maps, Imaging)

Microbiota and Stroke (Wildling)


Amido Daugardt
medical doctoral condidate

Moritz Eggers
PhD candidate

Paul Fischer

Prof. Dr. med.Christoph Harms
head of Research Group Harms

Philipp Hirsch
medical doctoral candidate

Christian Hoffmann
physician and scientist

Leif Koschützke, MD BSc

Melanie Kuffner
PhD candidate

Janet Lips

Stefanie Mayer, BSc
PhD student

Larissa Mosch

Felipe Oliveira, MSc
PhD student

Eduart Temaj
medical doctoral candidate

Josefine Walter, cand. med. vet.
PhD candidate

Cooperations and partners


  • Holger Gerhardt, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
  • Nikolaus Wenger, Translational Neuromodulation Group , Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Philipp Euskirchen, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


  • Leducq Foundation
  • ReTune
  • Gepris DFG
  • Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN)
  • German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK)
  • C3R