PD Dr. Stefan Schildknecht, born in 1976, biologist by training.

His scientific focus include pharmacology and toxicology with an emphasis on neuronal in vitro models, neurodegeneration, inflammation, and free radical species.

Stefan Schildknecht is senior group leader of the neurotoxicology laboratory at the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Chain of in vitro Toxicology and Biomedicine. He developed the human neuronal cell line LUHMES that can be differentiated into post mitotic mature neurons. The LUHMES model can be applied as mono-culture, but also in co-culture with glial cells in order to closer reflect the conditions in the brain by an in vitro model. With these models, Dr. Schildknecht elucidated mechanisms involved in the activation of the experimental parkinsonian toxicant MPTP. The LUHMES model was also instrumental in the identification of mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory tetracycline-derivate minocycline. In concert with other in vitro models developed in the Leist lab, LUHMES were furthermore applied as test system for the assessment of harmful properties of newly developed compounds or toxicants.

Dr. Schildknecht’s current research interest covers the mechanism of toxicity of the insecticide dieldrin in dopaminergic neurons, the influence of tyrosine nitration on the (patho)-physiological behavior of the Parkinsons-associated protein Alpha synuclein, and (in collaboration with Dr. Andreas Thum) the establishment of Drosophila larvae brains as genetic model for Parkinsons disease research.

Publication list

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LUHMES/Dieldrin Modell Project head01.08.2013 – 31.12.2014
Establishment and Validation of an improved in vitro Model of the Blood-Brain-Barrier Project head01.02.2009 – 31.12.2011