Monique M.B. Breteler, Ph.D.

Challenges and Opportunities in Population Imaging in the Context of Ageing and Development of Neurodegenerative Diseases


Breteler headshotProf. Monique M.B. Breteler is Director of Population Health Sciences at the German Center for Neurologic diseases (Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen; DZNE) in Bonn, and professor of Population Health Sciences at the University Bonn, Germany. Since 2002 she also is Professor of Epidemiology (adjunct) at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

In the early nineteen-nineties, before MR imaging was even part of mainstream medical practice, Monique Breteler pioneered this phenotyping approach for large-scale population research and introduced brain imaging in the Rotterdam Study. In the years thereafter she expanded this work as the neuroepidemiologic head of the Rotterdam Study and founded the Rotterdam Scan Study, internationally leading population studies in the area of neurodegenerative diseases.

In 2011, Monique Breteler moved to Bonn, Germany, where she has established the Rhineland Study, a prospective cohort study that will deeply and repeatedly phenotype up to 30,000 people over decades to come. Age at baseline is 30 years or above. The overarching goals of the Rhineland Study are to identify causes and preclinical multimodal biomarker profiles of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, and to investigate normal and pathological (brain) structure and function over the adult life course.

In 2012, the Alzheimer Association awarded Monique Breteler the Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to Alzheimer’s disease research. In 2014, she was selected a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher and in 2015, she was elected as a foreign member into the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.