The Department of Drug Design and Target Validation develops new molecular therapies for neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases. The department’s expertise is based on an in depth pharma-like understanding of scientific work and a long-lasting experience in the field of drug development. This profile encompasses the identification of new target proteins by analyzing putative pathologic post-translational modifications, the misfolding of proteins and the formation of pathological aggregates. Based on these new strategies the department develops and tests small molecules as well as biological agents (biologicals). This research is complemented by the design of new assays for the identification and diagnostic application of biomarkers aiming at monitoring the course of the disease and its therapy. The department’s expertise also expands to the generation of pharmacologically relevant in vitro and in vivo models. Besides state-of-the-art methods for peptide synthesis and protein analytics (MALDI-TOF and LC-MS), the department commands a wide range of biophysical methods to characterize therapeutically relevant physiological pathways, their key proteins as well as cell-based and pharmacologic models for the characterization of new chemical and biological drug candidates.