PD Dr. Veronica Witte

Group leader (in cooperation with Leipzig University)

Main Focus

  • impact of diet and lifestyle on brain structure and function
  • population neuroimaging
  • gut-microbiome-brain axis
  • cognitive aging
  • obesity and the brain
  • human interventional studies
  • genetic factors and gene-environment interactions
  • (micro-)structure of the hippocampus
  • structural imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, functional MRI & connectivity


s. here

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Education


PD Dr. rer. nat. habil. (~tenure track qualification)

Habilitation "Impact of obesity, diet and metabolic changes on brain structure and function", Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig

Dr. rer. nat. (~PhD)
Doctoral Thesis "Dynamic changes in the development of prefrontal networks" Department of Neuroanatomy, Bielefeld University
Diploma (~MSc) in biology
Bielefeld University
1999 - 2004
Studies of Biology
Bielefeld University


since 2023 Faculty member, Max Planck Research School of Cognition
since 2018
Faculty member, International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication: Function, Structure and Plasticity (IMPRS NeuroCom)
since 2014
Junior group leader
Effects of obesity and other nutrition-related lifestyle factors on the brain, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig
2009 - 2014
Effects of modifiable lifestyle interventions, such as dietary habits and exercise, on the aging healthy and diseased brain, Charité University Medicine Berlin
2007 - 2008
Associations between hormones, personality traits and brain structure, using MRI and serotonin receptor PET, University Hospital Vienna
03/06 - 12/08
Effects of lifestyle on cognitive functions, Münster University Hospital
2004 - 2006
Impact of environmental enrichment on neurotransmitter systems in rodents using immunohistological and tracer techniques, Bielefeld University,

Grants & Awards

2021-2024 DFG-Project CRC 1052-A1, PI, Targeting neurobehavioural determinants of obesity, 550,000 
2018 - 2020
EFRE-Project, Co-PI Schaffung von leistungsfähigen Strukturen zur nachhaltigen Nutzung der LIFE-Daten und Ausbau der Vernetzung mit der Universitätsmedizin Leipzig und externen Partnern, 220,000 €
2018 - 2020
DFG-Project WI 3342/3-1, PI, Neuronal correlates and mechanisms of cognitive improvements after bariatric surgery, 165,000 €
Selected for Max Planck Society's "Sign Up!" Careerbuilding program
2013- 2014
School of Mind & Brain, HU Berlin, Lifespan Plasticity PostDoc Stipendium, 2,000 €/Monat 
2010 - 2012
NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, PI, Female Post-Doc position, 220,000 € (eigene Stelle, wiss. Mitarbeiterin (T. Köbe), 30,000 €/Jahr Sachmittel) 
2010 - 2013
BMBF-Project FKZ 0315673, Co-PI Enhancing memory functions in patients with mild cognitive impairment by dietary interventions and in combination with exercise and cognitive training - Proof of concept and mechanisms 650,000 €
2009 - 2013
DFG-Project FL 379/8-1, Co-PI Can dietary modifications improve memory functions in healthy elderly humans? If so, what are the underlying mechanisms? 340,000 €
Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB) Paper of the month Witte AV et al., Cereb Cor 2013 
Travelgrant AAIC Conference, Vancouver Canada 2,000 € 
MentorInnen-Programm für Nachwuchswissenschaflterinnen, Charité (Mentor: Prof. A. Villringer)
Initiative Zukunft Ernährung (IZE)  FL 379/8-1, Award future nutrition, 3,000 €  
Pfrimmer Nutricia Nachwuchspreis Dr.-Werner-Fekl-Förderpreis 2,500 € 
Travelgrant ECNP Conference, Barcelona 500 €
Travelgrant FENS Conference, Vienna 800 €
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