CV Marcel Leist

Marcel Leist studied biochemistry in Tübingen (Germany), and then obtained an MSc in toxicology (Guildford 1989), a PhD in pharmacology (Konstanz 1993), and a habilitation in toxicology/cell biology (1998).

Since 2006, he has been head of the department of in vitro toxicology and biomedicine at the University of Konstanz (inaugurated by the Doerenkamp-Zbinden foundation), and director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing in Europe (CAAT-Europe), a joint venture with Johns-Hopkins University. Before that, Marcel Leist worked as ‘Head of Department of Disease Biology’ on the discovery of neurology and psychiatry drugs in the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck A/S from 2000-2006.

The research of the department addresses stem cell differentiation to neuronal lineages as well as the pharmacological and toxicological characterization of test systems and in vitro disease models. The novel test methods are used both to reduce the use of animals in scientific research and to shift research applications towards the use of human cells. The lab is particularly well-known for its test methods for developmental toxicity and neurotoxicity.

The research output is documented by > 200 publications, cited over 15,000 times, and awarded with many national and international research prizes. This research experience is also used for a teaching program that offers courses in biochemistry (BSc), toxicology and pharmacology (BSc and MSc levels), human biology/disease biology (BSc and MSc levels) and new animal-free approaches in pharmacology and toxicology (MSc).

During leisure time, Marcel Leist loves to listen to audio books, and he may sometimes be observed jogging through a forest, clinging to a rock face or exploring the nearby alps or exotic countries with his family.


Title Responsibility Period
EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) (LOT 2) Project leader since 22.02.2027
Int. Konferenz zu Entwicklungsneurotoxizitätstests (DNT5), Konstanz 07.04.2024 - 10.04.2024 Project leader since 31.10.2024
PARC: Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals Project leader since 30.04.2028
NeuroTool - Alternativmethoden: Humanzellbasierte Neuronennetzwerke für Wirkstoffentwicklung, Toxikologie und biomedizinische Forschung - Assayentwicklung und Software Project leader since 31.03.2025
RISK-HUNT3R Project leader since 31.05.2026
TOX-Free Toxicity assessment on neurons and cardiomyocytes by means of FluoRescence Emitting Electrodes Project leader since 31.05.2024
Enhancing in vitro DNT Testing Strategy Project leader since 31.03.2023
Research and harmonization activities to promote acceptance of animal-free new approach methods in different stakeholder communities (NAM-ACCEPT) Project leader since 31.12.2025
NeuNet - Neuronale Netzwerke aus menschlichen Zellen für den Ersatz von Tiermodellen in der biomedizinischen Forschung Project leader since 31.12.2021
EFSA Pilot Project on New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for Tebufenpyrad Risk Assessment. Part 2. Hazard Characterisation and Identification of the Reference Point Project leader since 11.03.2022
InnoSysTox-Moving - Verbundprojekt: SysBioToP-Moving - System Biologie von Lebertoxizitätsvorhersagen - Weiterentwicklung, TP B Project leader since 31.08.2024
5th International Conference on Developmental Neurotoxicity testing (DNT5), 05-08 April 2020 in Konstanz, Germany Project leader since 08.04.2020
From (screen) hit to DNT toxicant Project leader since 30.09.2021
Major changes of cell function and toxicant sensitivity in cultured cells undergoing mild, quasi-natural genetic drift Project leader since 28.03.2019
Internatione wissenschaftliche Verantaltung: 20. Internationaler Kongress für In-vitro-Toxikologie (ESTIV2018), Berlin 15.-18. Okt. 2018 Project leader since 31.12.2018
Implementation and interpretation of in-vitro battery for the assessment of developmental neurotoxicity Project leader since 21.07.2019
e:ToP-Translation - Verbund: SysDT-Trans - Translation von Systembiologie-basierten entwicklungstoxikologischen in vitro Testmethoden in die Anwendung - TP A Project leader since 31.01.2020
InnoSysTox - Verbund: SysBioTop - Integration von in vitro Daten zur Generierung eines "Adverse Outcome Pathways" und Modellierung von Lebertoxizität - TP B " Project leader since 31.05.2019
EUToxRisk21 Project leader since 31.12.2021
SFB 969 TP C05: Transiente Strukturen des intrinsisch unstrukturierten Proteins alpha-Synuclein Project leader since 31.12.2019
Forschungskostenzuschuß zum AvH-Stipendium an Dr. Elaine Maria de Souza Fagundes Project leader since 30.09.2017
MEMOSYSTEMS Project leader since 31.12.2016
Multiple framework service contract (STOA) Project leader since 28.02.2018
e:Top - Verbundprojekt: DynaMe Tox - Untersuchung der dynamsichen Toxin-Antwort neuronaler Zellen mittels 13C-basierter Stoffflussanalyse - Teilprojekct C Project leader since 31.12.2015
e: Top - Verbundprojekt: SysDT- Systembiologische-basierte Prädikation von Entwicklungstoxikologie -Teilprojekt A Project leader since 31.12.2015
Testing of scavenging of peroxynitrite (PON) Project leader since 20.10.2014
Neurotoxizität und Neuroteratogenität: von Funktionstests an menschlichen Neuronen zu Biomarkern für Testbatterien Project leader since 30.09.2016
Development and application of in vitro teratogenicity tests Project leader since 31.05.2014
Funktionstestung von Neuralleistenzellen Project leader since 30.11.2014
SFB 969 TP C04: Lipidbindung von posttranslational verändertem alpha-Synclein: Modulation von Mitochondriendynamik und Mitophagie Project leader since 31.12.2015
Organisation des t4-Core Programms 2012-2014 Project leader since 31.12.2014
First in vitro approaches to address repeat dose - long-term toxicity Project leader since 30.06.2014
Discovery and characterization of toxicity pathways by gene expression and metabolome analyses in a human developmental in vitro system for early neurodevelopmental toxicity Project leader since 21.07.2012
Human dopaminergic neurons (LUHMES cells) as substitute for transgenic animal models in neudrodegenerative disease and as platform to map pathways of toxicity Project leader since 21.07.2012
Graduiertenkolleg 1331/3: Zell-basierte Charakterisierung krankheitsbedingter Mechanismen der Gewebs-Zerstörung und -Reparatur (GK) Project leader since 31.12.2015
Development of new research and education approaches for alternative methods in biomedicine and toxicology Project leader since 31.12.2011
Structural and functional setup Project leader since 31.12.2099
Embryonic Stem-cells based Novel Alternative Testing Strategy Project leader since 31.03.2013
Biologische Modifikation der APP-Prozessierung Project leader since 30.01.2011
human dopaminergic neurons as model for Parkinsons disease Project leader since 31.12.2010
In vitro cell differentiation assays for neuro/embryo toxicity Project leader since 31.12.2010
In vitro-Ersatzmethoden für Tiermodelle der Neurogeneration Project leader since 30.09.2009