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Prof. Dr. Lutz Schomburg

Picture of Prof. Dr. Lutz Schomburg

TraceAge Co-Speaker

P8: Effects of commonly used drugs on the metabolism of selenium and copper


Charité - University Hospital Berlin
Institute for Experimental Endocrinology
Suedring 10, CVK
13353 Berlin

Specific Qualification in TraceAge

The research group around the TraceAge Co-speakerLutz Schomburg bridges basic with clinical research. The group started its contribution to the TE field in generating knock-out and transgenic mice with respect to the major selenium transport protein in mammals, i.e., selenoprotein P (SePP). From there on, the group pioneered the research in molecular sex-specific differences of selenium metabolism and selenoprotein expression, both in mouse and in human analyses. Besides the groups of Raymond Burk and Kazuhiko Takahashi, the Schomburg group was the first to develop a SePP-specific ELISA. Notably, they pioneered in using these assays for a consequent analysis of both the total selenium concentration in serum or plasma in combination with the selenium transporter SePP in different clinical cohorts, e.g., with respect to bone turnover, thyroid diseases or cancer risk. Notably, they contributed decisively to the characterization of the first human patients with inherited defects in the selenoprotein biosynthesis machinery. In cell culture analyses, the team around Schomburg characterized different external noxae on the selenoprotein expression pattern, including different selenium compounds, hypoxia, proinflammatory cytokines or drugs of the aminoglycoside family of antibiotics. Currently, the focus of the team is expanding the TE analyses from the focus of Se and selenoproteins to the interaction of Se with different TEs like Cu and Zn. In doing so, they succeeded in e.g. defining the Cu-to-Se-ratio as a novel readout for the analysis of thyroid function and hepatic response to thyroid hormones.

Qualifications and Scientific Career

Since 08/2008

Professor for Experim. Endocrinology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


Principal Investigator (PI), Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


PI, University of Würzburg, Division of Molecular Internal Medicine


PI, Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Hannover


Postdoctoral fellow, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, U.S.A., research team of Prof. Dr. William W. Chin


Postdoctoral fellow, Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Hannover, research team of Prof. Dr. Karl Bauer


PhD thesis, MPI for Exp. Endocrinology, "cDNA cloning and hormonal regulation of the TRH-degrading ectoenzyme"; grade: summa cum laude


Diploma thesis, MPI for Exp. Endocrinology, graduation with distinction.


Studies of biochemistry at University Hannover, Veterinary & Medical School of Hannover, King’s College, London, UK; the Waite Institute, Adelaide, Australia; and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Munich

Membership in Scientific Committees

German Society for Trace Elements and Minerals (GMS),
2013 Conference President of 29th Annual Meeting,
Since 2013 Vice President

European Thyroid Association (ETA)

German Endocrine Society (DGE)

European Society for Endocrinology (ESE)

Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (GBM)

International Society for Selenium Research (ISSR),
Since 2011 Vice President