Our research is focused on the interaction between essential trace elements and toxic metals with their biological target structures. On the one hand, we aim to elucidate the molecular basis for essentiality; on the other hand we want to understand the toxic effects. A major field for these interactions is intracellular signal transduction.
Traditionally, toxicology is a discipline that involves a high number of experimental animals. In contrast, the research unit Food Chemistry and Toxicology focuses on a molecular approach, with experiments performed predominantly in cell culture and with isolated proteins.
Our investigations employ RT-PCR, siRNA, Western blot, flow cytometry and ELISA. One particularly important aspect is the analysis and speciation of trace elements and heavy metals in cell cultures, food and biological liquids, based on fluorescence spectrometry, fluorescence microscopy, and atomic absorption spectrometry.