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Gundacker Lab

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Claudia Gundacker, Assoc. Maga. Drin.


Tel.: +43 (0)1 40160-56503

Research interests

My research interest is in Reproduction Toxicology and Environmental Health with specific emphasis on the metabolism and transport of metals (mercury, iron, lead, and cadmium) and perfluoroalkyl substances across the human placenta. In search of proteins that mediate placental kinetics, i.e., uptake, distribution, biotransformation, and efflux of the substances, we combine Human Biomonitoring and genotyping with basic research on placental in vitro models. The aim is to identify genetic variants associated with placenta pathophysiology and pregnancy diseases.

  • Mercury kinetics in the human placenta: making the bridge between genotype and phenotype in healthy and diseased placentas (PI)    
  • Iron metabolism of the human placenta – the key to understand iron transfer from the mother to the fetus (PI)
  • Exposure to perflourinated alkylated compounds (PFAS) in an Austrian birth cohort:  The potential impact on birth weight (PI)
  • HBM4EU – Science and Policy for a Healthy Future

Straka, E., Ellinger I., Balthasar, C., Scheinast, M., Schatz, J., Szattler T., Bleichert S., Saleh, L., Knöfler, M., Zeisler, H., Hengstschläger, M., Rosner M., Salzer, H., Gundacker C. (2016). Mercury toxicokinetics of the healthy human term placenta involve amino acid transporters and ABC transporters. Toxicology 340: 34-42.

Gundacker C.; Neesen J.; Straka E.; Ellinger I.; Dolznig H.; Hengstschläger M. (2016) Genetics of the human placenta: Implications for toxicokinetics. Arch Toxicol:  90, 2563-2581.

Gundacker C., Gencik M., Hengstschläger M. (2010). The relevance of the individual genetic background for the toxicokinetics of two significant neurodevelopmental toxicants: Mercury and lead. Mut Res/Rev Mut Res 705(2):130-140.

Gundacker C., Scheinast, M., Damjanovic, L., Fuchs, C., Rosner, M., Hengstschläger, M. (2011). Proliferation potential of human amniotic fluid stem cells differently responds to mercury and lead exposure. Amino Acids 36: 1-13.

Gundacker C., Pietschnig B., Wittmann K.J., Lischka  A., Salzer H., Hohenauer L., Schuster E. (2002). Lead and Mercury in Breast Milk. Pediatrics 110(5): 873-8.