Junior Group Visualizing Toxicology

in vivo mouse liver immunzellen hepatozyten_t29Head

Dr. rer. nat. Raymond Reif

The chemical- and pharmaceutical industries are continuously developing new compounds which have to be evaluated on their toxic properties before market release. At the same time society currently demands replacing classical toxicological testing using animals by alternative ex vivo systems. This switch to ‘animal free testing’ is a challenge which requires on the one hand deep understanding of toxicological effects in vivo and on the other hand validation of existing test systems to ensure reliable resembling of the situation in humans (Burden et al., 2015). The main interest of our group is to understand very early deregulations in the liver induced by xenobiotics, like for example Ca2+ release, oxidative stress, and cell signaling. We want to understand which degree of irritation cells can cope with and the limits when cells are irreversible affected. This information will facilitate a more sensitive toxicity testing detecting cell irritation not only fatal outcome. Moreover, we try to elucidate consequences for the liver in case of persisting adverse signaling and acute harmful intoxication also in respect of organ regeneration.

This junior research group aims on the translation of the new findings in order to improve in vitro based toxicity testing. To approach our key questions state of the art molecular, imaging and functional methodologies are used. We are interested in mechanisms of stress signalling induction. Deeper understanding of early stress effects in terms of signalling alterations would make it easier to screen for substance toxicity.

Third-party funds

Financial year

Funding source




BMBF, LivSys*#


BMBF, Lebersimulator*#


EU, EUToxRisk21*

* shared with research group ‘Systems Toxicology‘

# shared with junior research group ‘Liver Toxicology’