Anne Schaefer comes from Offenbach near Frankfurt and studied medicine in Mainz and Berlin. In 2004, after completing her PhD, she went to the laboratory of Nobel Prize winner Paul Greengard at Rockefeller University as a postdoc. In 2011, she started her own research group at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. She later received a tenured professorship there and became vice chair of the neuroscience department. Since October 2021, she has been director of the Department of Neurobiology of Aging at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging.
Anne Schaefer investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for the longevity of neurons in the brain. With her research, she wants to find out what causes brain aging and when and how it starts. Does the aging brain determine the aging processes in the rest of the body, and what role do external influences such as infections or chronic inflammation play? To answer these questions, she is studying the brain's resident immune cells, also called microglia, which form a link between the brain and the rest of the body.