Chemicals are essential in modern working environments. To avoid toxic exposures a careful risk evaluation of chemicals is required. Ideally, risk evaluation is based on precise knowledge by which mechanisms toxic chemicals cause adverse effects. This goal is pursued in six independent research groups:
- CellTox (Rosemarie Marchan) focuses on metabolic networks and their influence on the phenotype of cells, organs and organisms.
- SysTox (Dr. Jan G. Hengstler) studies how multivariate variables, for example the transcriptome and proteome, influence cell and organ function with a specific focus on liver physiology.
- InterOrgTox (Cristina Cadenas) investigates how disturbed functions of one organ, for example via altered release of metabolites, can lead to disturbances of other organs.
- IntravitalTox (Ahmed Ghallab) uses intravital imaging to investigate toxic mechanisms at the cellular and subcellular level.
- NeuroTox (Christoph van Thriel) focuses on the human nervous system as the target organ of many toxic agents with the goals of (a) providing data for health-based occupational exposure limits, (b) describing neurobiological mechanisms for these effects, and (c) providing new insights into modulators of neurotoxic and chemosensory effects.
- ImageTox (Nachiket Vartak) investigates functional principles of organs at the cellular and subcellular level using functional imaging methods. The advancement and development of new imaging methods is one of the goals of this project group.
These research groups work independently, each with its own budget and third-party funding. They organize common projects to bring together complementary expertise.
Furthermore, two central units are organized, Analytical Chemistry (Dr. Jörg Reinders) and Ambulance/Occupational Medicine (Dr. Klaus Golka), where techniques (e.g. proteomics, metabolomics, possibility of blood sampling) are available to all research groups of IfADo.