Joachim Herz graduated from Medical School at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, in 1983. He continued training as a resident in surgery in Germany and England until he joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in 1985. There, he received training in Molecular Biology and conducted research work that included the identification and cloning of a novel member of the LDL receptor gene family, the LDL receptor-related protein (LRP). In 1989 Dr. Herz joined the Department of Molecular Genetics where in 1998 he attained his current position of Professor. He is the holder of the Thomas O. Hicks Family Distinguished Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research.

Dr. Herz’s current research focuses on the role of the members of the LDL receptor gene family as signaling receptors in the brain and in the vascular wall. Recent work from his laboratory have defined roles for the LDL receptor gene family in the formation of the mammalian brain, where it regulates the migration and positioning of neurons during embryonic development, and control of vascular wall integrity, where the LRP functions in conjunction with the PDGF receptor.


Medical School
Heidelberg University (1983), Medicine

Research Interest

  • Brain Development and Alzheimer's Disease
  • Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis
  • Physiological functions of the LDL receptor gene family


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

High-Fat Diet Changes Hippocampal Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) in a Genotype- and Carbohydrate-Dependent Manner in Mice.
Lane-Donovan C, Herz J PLoS ONE 2016 11 2 e0148099
Loss of Reelin protects against atherosclerosis by reducing leukocyte-endothelial cell adhesion and lesion macrophage accumulation.
Ding Y, Huang L, Xian X, Yuhanna IS, Wasser CR, Frotscher M, Mineo C, Shaul PW, Herz J Sci Signal 2016 9 419 ra29
Lrp4 domains differentially regulate limb/brain development and synaptic plasticity.
Pohlkamp T, Durakoglugil M, Lane-Donovan C, Xian X, Johnson EB, Hammer RE, Herz J PLoS ONE 2015 10 2 e0116701
Reelin protects against amyloid ß toxicity in vivo.
Lane-Donovan C, Philips GT, Wasser CR, Durakoglugil MS, Masiulis I, Upadhaya A, Pohlkamp T, Coskun C, Kotti T, Steller L, Hammer RE, Frotscher M, Bock HH, Herz J Sci Signal 2015 8 384 ra67
More than Cholesterol Transporters: Lipoprotein Receptors in CNS Function and Neurodegeneration.
Lane-Donovan C, Philips GT, Herz J Neuron 2014 Aug 83 4 771-787
Is Apolipoprotein E Required for Cognitive Function in Humans?: Implications for Alzheimer Drug Development.
Lane-Donovan C, Herz J JAMA Neurol 2014 Aug
Differential splicing and glycosylation of Apoer2 alters synaptic plasticity and fear learning.
Wasser CR, Masiulis I, Durakoglugil MS, Lane-Donovan C, Xian X, Beffert U, Agarwala A, Hammer RE, Herz J Sci Signal 2014 7 353 ra113
APP interacts with LRP4 and agrin to coordinate the development of the neuromuscular junction in mice.
Choi HY, Liu Y, Tennert C, Sugiura Y, Karakatsani A, Kröger S, Johnson EB, Hammer RE, Lin W, Herz J Elife 2013 2 e00220
ApoE receptors in the nervous system.
Joachim Herz Current Opinion in Lipidology 2009 20 190-6
LRP1 Controls cPLA2 Phosphorylation, ABCA1 Expression and Cellular Cholesterol Export.
Li Zhou, Hong Y. Choi, Wi-Ping Li, Fang Xu, Joachim Herz PLoS ONE 2009 4 e6853

Honors & Awards

  • Alexander-von-Humboldt Professorship
  • Heinrich-Wieland Prized
    International Lipid Research Award (2007)
  • Thomas O. and Cinda Hicks Family Distinguished Chair
  • Wolfgang Paul Award
    Humboldt Foundation of Germany (2001)
  • Lucille P. Markey Scholar
  • Syntex Scholar