Christian Behl was born in 1962. He studied Biology at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg. After having taken his diploma degree with a thesis on the biochemical characterization and the cloning of a protein that influences the growth of tumours, he obtained his Ph.D. in Neurobiology.
He went on to work at different research centres, including for three years at the famous Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, which Jonas Salk founded near San Diego in 1960. He subsequently spent eight years at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, where he did a postdoctoral thesis in Experimental Neurology for the Medical Faculty of the Ludwig Maximilians University in 1999. His scientific research in the USA has focused on the molecular causes of the neuronal loss in Alzheimer’s Disease, and new approaches in therapy and prevention. In 2001 Behl became the Head of the Department of Pathobiochemistry of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. From 2003 to 2008 he also chaired the Institute for Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, and from 2005 to 2010 the newly founded Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Neurosicences (IFZN). Since 2010 he has been the Director of the Institute for Pathobiochemistry of the University Medical Center, where he manages several project groups that carry out experimental research in the field of biochemical and molecular processes of ageing. His recent studies have looked at the quality control of cellular proteins. In 2011 Behl received the Binder Innovation Award of the German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ), which has been awarded since 1998 for excellent and innovate research. Behl’s special field of study is the biochemical condition of ageing cells in the context of neurodegenerative processes in the course of Alzheimer dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Apoplexy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The analysis of ageing processes on the level of cells helps gain a better insight into the development and the causes of the respective pathologies. The study of the difference between young and old cells, particularly in view of the composition and effect of the proteins has led to new knowledge about the molecular aspects of ageing.
Behl also received the First Prize of the German Brain League e.V. (1995), the Organon Research Award for Biological Psychiatry (1998), the Hermes Vitamin Award (1999), and the AGNP Award for Research in Psychopharmacology (2003). Behl lives in a municipality near Mainz. In addition to his research and lecturing activities, Behl is also dedicated to abstract painting. He lives near the city of Mainz