Professor Hampel obtained his MD and PhD at the University of Munich, Germany. He also holds an MSc in hospital management from Cologne University, Germany and an MA from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. After training at the University of Munich, he moved to Washington D.C. in 1995 for a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Aging (NIA), Laboratory of Neurosciences in Bethesda, Md. (supervisor: Stanley I. Rapoport, MD, PhD) focused on structural & functional neuroimaging of the healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease brain. In 1997 he became founding director of the Alzheimer Memorial Center at the University of Munich where he was appointed as Professor of Psychiatry in 2005. In 2006 he moved to Dublin and was appointed as Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. During this time he was a PI at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN). In 2010 he was appointed as Professor, Chair and Head of Department of Psychiatry, head of the Alzheimer Research Center and co-director of the Brain Imaging Center (BIC) at the University of Frankfurt, Germany. In 2013 he moved to Paris and was appointed as Professor and AXA Research Fund & UPMC Excellence Chair to Pierre and Marie Curie University, Sorbonne Universities. Professor Hampel and his team are currently located at the Institut de la Mémoire et de la Maladie d’Alzheimer (IM2A), at the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière (ICM), at the Department of Neurology, Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière in Paris, France.
Professor Hampel is coordinator of major clinical and translational research programs in the area of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
He serves as Senior Associate Editor of the internationally leading Alzheimer journal (ranked second of all Neurology journals) of the US Alzheimer Association - Alzheimer's & Dementia.
RESEARCH INTERESTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Translational discovery, development and validation of novel treatments (in more than 50 clinical trials) and multimodal biomarker candidates using biochemical (blood, plasma & CSF) and neuroimaging methods in mono- and multi-site studies for risk assessment, mapping progression, prediction, early detection, clinical diagnosis and classification (differential diagnosis) of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's disease [AD]) across all disease stages (preclinical to prodromal to dementia).
Detection of genetic protection and risk variants (such as several genome-wide associated susceptibility genes) of autosomal dominant and sporadic Alzheimer's disease within large-scale international research networks.
Neurochemical biomarker work focused on inflammatory markers (such as the TNF receptor complex, the IL-6 receptor complex), total and phosphorylated tau protein (s199, thr181, thr231), abeta-antibodies and abeta-oligomers (correlation with cognitive decline), TACE and BACE1 functional proteins, microvascular markers (in brain, CSF and plasma). Validation of biomarkers against post-mortem histochemical findings (e.g., p-tau thr231 correlation with regional brain tangle density).
Pr Hampel's group has introduced and systematically validated (from mono-center methodological studies to multi-site validation) various new MR-biomarkers, e.g., of limbic system and basal forebrain changes validated against post-mortem obtained brain scans.
Multivariate analysis tools were developed to track white matter changes, cortical thickness analysis, voxel-based DTI analysis of the whole brain (including large-scale multi-center validation studies), demonstrating a specific AD pattern of fractional anisotropy and identifying anatomical neural networks using advanced tractography within the brain. Voxel- and deformation-based morphometry.
For the functional MRI assessment, he developed a connectivity-related approach that showed brain changes in subjects at risk of AD before the onset of dementia.
Metabolic imaging focused on studies at rest and activation using FDG- and Amyloid-PET tracers. It is planned to expand studies using PET-Tau protein and inflammation ligands. His current neuroimaging research focuses on the understanding how the brain constructs networks of interacting regions to perform cognitive tasks, especially those associated with memory and attention, and how these networks are altered during aging and neurodegenerative brain diseases.