Helena SCHMIDT is professor for Genetic Epidemiology & Susceptibility Diagnostics at the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. She is head of the Research Unit Genetic Epidemiology and of the Neurogenetic Laboratory at the Department of Neurology. Her research is focused on genetic factors influencing human aging especially brain aging. In large cohort studies she investigates the effect of genomic variants on the risk of developing age related functional and morphological changes. Genetic variations explain about 40-60% of the variability of aging in human populations. Identification of genetic variants by using genome wide approaches such as microarrays or next generation sequencing is one of the most efficient ways to discover novel genes and biochemical pathways in the aging process. Targeting these newly discovered pathways holds the promise for better prevention and treatment of age-related diseases in the future. Helena Schmidt is member of numerous international consortia such as the Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics by Meta-Analyses (ENIGMA,International Genomics of Alzheimer`s Project (IGAP), Alzheimer Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP), Cohorts for Heart & Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE).