About us

The  Young Alliance Against Multiple System Atrophy, YAMSA in short, was founded by 12 students at a summer school hosted by the German National Academic Foundation ("Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes", which is the largest and oldest fellowship program for students in Germany) in 2016. Our group works interdisciplinary and combines various subjects: medical students and doctors (majority), psychology, biomedicine, chemistry and bioentrepreneurship.

Since November 2018 we are also a registered charitable association. We see a lot of potential in MSA-research: it can act as a model system for other alpha-synucleopathies which don't draw a lot of attention by the public or researchers.


  • Carrying out a multi-centre research projects about MSA
  • Promoting MSA research
  • Promoting awareness and distributing information about MSA (e.g. via our homepage)
  • Promoting the creation of a database of German-speaking MSA patients who are willing to participate in future studies
  • Creating contacts between MSA-researchers (especially young researchers)
  • Promoting the foundation of an association of German-speaking MSA patients

We are supported in our effort by our mentors Prof. Wolfgang Oertel,  Prof. Johannes Levin and Prof. Armin Giese, renowned researchers in the field of neurodegeneration.

Our articles of association can be found here (German):

Our member statutes (German):


Tabea Barthel has been studying Medicine in Jena since 2012 including a practical training in France. Following a scholarship of the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research in Jena she completed her doctoral thesis on potential strategies of inhibiting interleukin signaling pathways in bronchial asthma in may 2017. Since 2014 her studies are supported by the "Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes" (German National Academic Foundation). Besides studying she enjoys doing sports such as hiking, kayaking and long distance swimming. 

Tabea Barthel

Alexander Bernhardt (President)

Alexander Bernhardt has been studying medicine at Heidelberg University since 2012, including seven-month stay in the United Kingdom in 2017.  Since 2016 he has been pursuing his MD project at Professor Christel Herold-Mende’s lab at the Division for Experimental Neurosurgery at Heidelberg University Hospital. He has been investigating the immune microenvironment of tumor-specific mutations in glioblastomas in view of the potential use of immunotherapies targeting these. He is a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation since 2013. Alex enjoys playing the piano, focusing onworks from  Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Chopin and loves extensive hiking.

Lioba Kahmann

After a bachelor degree in molecular biomedicine from the University Bonn, Lioba Kahmann graduated as a Master of Science in Bioentrepreneurship from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Lioba  has been working in the field of medical devices with focus on regulatory affairs. She is alumni of the German academic scholar foundation and the DAAD.

Emre Kocakavuk

Emre Kocakavuk studies medicine in Essen since October 2013 with clinical interships in Edinburgh, UK and in Istanbul, Turkey. Since 2016 he is working on his doctoral thesis at the institute for neuropathology under Prof. Dr. Keyvani in the field of Alzheimer's. He is a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation since 2016. In his spare time he plays the guitar and likes to discover new countries and cultures.

Eliana Nachman studied Biology (BSc) at the Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg, Germany. For the Master’s program she moved to Heidelberg where she studied Molecular Biosciences with Major Neurosciences. Currently, she a PhD student at the ZMBH (Center for Molecular Biologie at the University of Heidelberg) investigating molecular mechanisms of protein folding and aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases. She is an alumna of the German National Academic Foundation..

Eliana Nachman

Marc Oeller finished his Master of Science at the University of Bonn in Chemistry in 2018. During his studies he  carried out research projects concerned with theoretical and bio-chemistry. At the moment he is a PhD candidate in Prof. Vendruscolo's group at the Centre for Misfolding diseases at the University of Cambridge, UK, where he mainly works on protein solubility.

Marc Oeller

Kevin Peikert studied medicine at the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, and was previously investigating muscle spindle morphology and function as well as variabilities in pelvic floor anatomy (in the labs of Prof. C.A. May, Dresden, Germany and Prof. F. Pedrosa-Domellöf, Umea, Sweden). Recently, he works as intern at the Department of Neurology (University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany) and is a research fellow in the group of Prof. A. Hermann (Division for Neurodegenerative Diseases) with a focus on Chorea and Neuroacanthocytosis syndromes. He was a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation and the „Esther und Silvius Dornier Stiftung“. Currently, he is a fellow of “Else-Kröner Forschungskolleg Dresden”.

Dr. med. Kevin Peikert

Malte Roderigo

Malte Roderigo studies medicine in Munster since 2013. For his doctoral thesis, he works at the institute for biomagnetism and biosignal-analysis under Prof. Dr. Markus Junghöfer. Using magnetoencephalography measurements, he investigates the impact of brain stimuli procedures on the emotion regulations in depressions. His research is supported by the Medizinerkolleg of the medicinal department in Munster. He is a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation since 2014.

Andreas Roßmann finished is studies in medicine in 2018 at the Technical University in Munich. During his doctoral thesis he investigated the benefits of hybride PET/MRT imaging in breast cancer. He is a fellow of the German Merit Foundation since 2012. He loves to discover new countries - especially South America and Ecuador belong to his favourites.

Andreas Roßmann (Vice President)

Jeremy Schmidt

Jeremy Schmidt studies medicine at the University in Heidelberg since October 2013 including an exchange semester to the University of Vienna. He is working on his doctoral thesis in the paediatrics institut with a focus on rejection reactions after kidney transplantations. He is also active in the federal representation of German medicine students, where he lead the project creating awareness about organ donations for two years and is now the federal coordinator for medical education. In his leisure time he likes to play and watch footbal.

Isabel Weigelt (Treasurer)

Isabel Weigelt is student of human medicine in Leipzig (begin in 2013), in 2018, she stayed abroad for some time in Switzerland. Since 2015, she works on her doctoral thesis in the field of brain research on the quantification and cellular localisation of iron in human brains of patients with Parkinson's disease and age-matched controls. Therefore, from 2016-2017, she held one of the doctorate scholarships of the medial faculty in Leipzig. In addition since 2013, Isabel is a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation. In her leasure time, she runs long-distance, plays piano and is singer in a vocal ensemble.


Professor Dr. Armin Giese

Professor Dr. Armin Giese is Professor for Neuropathology at the  Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich since 2008. His research focuses on the molecular foundations of protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases.

He was able to identify new inhibitors with excellent pharmacological properties against the aggregation of  such proteins in different animal models. In 2013 he co-founded  MODAG GmbH, to promote the development of these drugs, which could potentially be used against M. Parkinson and MSA.

Priv. Doz. Dr. Johannes Levin

Dr. Levin works in the neurology department of the university of munich since 2006. He is one of the leading investigators in a study assessing the efficacy of Epigallocatechin-3-gallat (EGCG), which is a natural product contained in green tea, as a therapy against MSA (PROMESA study).

The study is based on the idea of inhibiting the protein aggregation as a way of slowing down the progress of the disease. During his doctoral thesis he investigated disease-associated misfolding of prion proteins in the group of Prof. Dr. Armin Giese.

Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Oertel

Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Oertel was director of the neurological university school in Marburg  from 1996 to 2014, from 2007 to 2011 president of the German Parkinson Society and from 2011 to 2012 president of the German Neurology Society. Some of his accomplishments in the field of neurodegenerative diseases are listed following. 

He founded the German Parkinson Competency Network (1999), the German Parkinson Studygroup (2003), the German Brain Bank for neurodegenerative diseases in Munich (1994) and initiated the Hertie-Institute for brain research in Tübingen.  Prof. Oertel is the Hertie-Senior-Professor at the University of  Marburg since 2014.



Dr. Florin Gandor

Dr. Florin Gandor studied medicin at the Humboldt-University/Charité in Berlin and did his doctorate in the field of experimental neurology about neuroprotection in cerebral ischemia. After working at the emergency hospital in Berlin he started his work as a research fellow at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Australia, where he specialised in the field of movement disorders.

Since 2011 he is working in Beelitz at the clinic for Movement disorders/Parkinson and is coordinator for clinical studies there. Dr. Gandor worked on several clinical studies regarding atypical Parkinson's diseases and is currently working on laryngopharyngeale symptoms. He also works as a lecturer at the Otto-von-Guericke-University in Magdeburg, Germany.


Dr. Kevin Peikert

Dr. Kevin Peikert works as an assistant physician at the neurological clinic at the university hospital Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden. He is co-founder of YAMSA e.V. and supports our project there.


Dr. Michael Fleischer

Dr. Michael Fleischer is assistant physician at the university hospital Duisburg-Essen and supports our project there.


Dr. Christoph van Riese

Dr. Christoph van Riesen is a senior physician and leads the outpatient clinic for Parkinson's Disease, movement disorders and deep brain stimulation in Goettingen-Kassel. He supports our project there.


Priv.-Doz. Dr. Markus Weiler

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Markus Weiler works as a senior physician at the neurological clinic which is part of the university hospital Heidelberg and supports our project there. 

Dr. Heike Jacobi

Dr. Heike Jacobi works as a neurologist at the neurological clinic which is part ot the university hospital Heidelberg and supports our project there. 


Dr. Tino Prell

Dr. Tino Prell is a senior physician at the university hospital Jena and head of the surgery for movement disorders. He supports our project in Jena.


Professor Dr. med. Joseph Claßen

Professor Dr. med. Joseph Claßen is head of the neurological clinic which is part ot the university hospital Leipzig and supports our project there. 

Dr. med. Jost-Julian Rumpf works as a senior physician at the neurological clinic which is part ot the university hospital Leipzig and supports our project there. 

Dr. med. Jost-Julian Rump


Professor Dr. Tobias Warnecke

Herr Professor Dr. Tobias Warnecke is a senior physician at the neurological clinic of the university hospital Münster and head of the Parkinson-syndrome and movement disorders division. He and his team support YAMSA in Münster.


Lea Wilhelm

M.Sc. Lea Wilhelm studied psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is currently training to become a psychotherapist, combined with studies in psychotherapy at the Psychologische Hochschule Berlin.

She supports YAMSA by scientifically advising them, focusing on the current study.




© Young Alliance Against Multiple System Atrophy, YAMSA 2019



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