Christian Grefkes, Professor of Stroke and Neurorehabilitation, University of Cologne; Institute of Neurosciences and Medicine (INM-3), Research Center Jülich, Germany
Professor Christian Grefkes is a clinical neurologist at the University of Cologne/Germany. In addition, he is the head of the "Rehabilitation of Cognitive Impairments" group at the Institute of Neurosciences and Medicine (INM3), Research Center Jülich.
Dr. Grefkes received his medical training at the University of Düsseldorf, University of Sydney/Australia and University College London. After finishing his MD thesis in brain mapping in the lab of Professor Karl Zilles, he started his neurological training in 2005 at the University of Aachen under the supervision of Professor Johannes Noth. In 2007 he continued his training at the Department of Neurology, University of Cologne, under the supervision of Professor Gereon Fink. In the same year, he was appointed as group leader of the junior research group "Neuromodulation & Neurorehabilitation" at the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research Cologne (Professor Yves von Cramon). In 2013, he was appointed as Associate Professor at the University of Cologne with a scientific focus on stroke and neurorehabiltation. In the same year, he established his research group "Rehabilitation of Cognitive Impairments" at the Jülich Research Center.
The long-standing scientific focus of Christian Grefkes lies on furthering the understanding of stroke-induced disturbances of brain networks, and on developing novel treatment strategies to promote recovery of function based on functional neuroimaging data and computational modelling. The novel approach was to use information on effective connectivity among key areas of the motor system in a multimodal setup comprising fMRI, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and neuropharmacology to provide a neurobiologically informed basis for changes in behavior in both healthy subjects and patients. His findings have generated a better understanding of (i) the specific contributions of brain areas to recovery of function, (ii) the effect of therapies on cortical reorganization, and (iii) why some patients improve and others not. The findings of Grefkes and colleagues have already led to randomized clinical trials currently probing the effect of non-invasive brain stimulation for recovery of function in stroke patients.
At present, Professor Grefkes has published over 110 scientific papers with an h-index of 49 (Google Scholar). He serves as Section Editor at 'Neuroimage: Clinical' and Associate Editor at 'Clinical Neurophysiology'. He has received a number of scientific awards, among them the Niels-A.-Lassen award (2011) of the German Society for Clinical Neurophysiology and Functional Neuroimaging as well as the prestigious Heinrich-Pette-Award (2018) of the German Neurological Society.
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