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Prof. Dr. Tanja Schwerdtle

Picture of Prof. Dr. Tanja Schwerdtle

TraceAge spokesperson

P5: Trace element fingerprinting, genomic stability and neurodegeneration


University of Potsdam
Institute of Nutritional Science
Dept. of Food Chemistry
Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116
14558 Nuthetal



German Federal Inst. for Risk Assessment
Vice President
Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10
10589 Berlin

Specific Qualification in TraceAge

The TraceAge spokesperson Tanja Schwerdtle is chair of the Department of Food Chemistry in the Institute of Nutritional Science at the University of Potsdam. The Schwerdtle group has many years of research experience in the field of the toxicity of metal(loid) compounds. Predominantly, team Schwerdtle focuses on the molecular mechanisms of metal(loid) species induced carcinogenicity and neurotoxicity, investigating the impact of toxic metal(loid) species but also TE species (especially Mn2+, Cu2+ as well as inorganic and organic Se species) on DNA damage response and DNA repair pathways. Moreover, the group is very experienced and internationally recognized in the field of metal(loid) analysis in biological samples by the use of state of the art instrumental techniques including ICPMSMS. In this context, the team has successfully established new test systems to assess ADME, indirect genotoxicity, epigenetic as well as stress related effects. The combined use of their instrumental analytical and toxicological testing expertise enables the group to contribute efficiently to TraceAge especially by reliably quantifying the TE profiles and species in all human, mouse and C. elegans samples as well as by studying these effects in the context of genomic instability, epigenetics and aging. In the BMBF-funded competence cluster NutriAct “Nutritional Intervention for Healthy Aging: Food Patterns, Behavior and Products” Tanja Schwerdtle actually coordinates 10 groups in the field of biomarker research, providing the possibility to interpret the outcome of the NutriAct intervention study also in the context of TE and aging. 

Qualifications and Scientific Career

Since 10/2013

W3-Professorship in Food Chemistry, University of Potsdam, Institute of Nutritional Science, Chair Food Chemistry


W2-Professorship in Food Chemistry, University of Münster


Offer („Ruf“) for a W2-Professorship in Food Chemistry, University of Bonn (declined) 

08–09/2005, 07/2007

Guest Scientist in the team of Dr. G. Dianov at the Medical Research Council Harwell, Oxford/UK


Senior Scientist (C1) at the Institute of Food Technology and Food Chemistry, TU Berlin


Senior Scientist at the Institute of Food Chemistry and Toxicology, University of Karlsruhe


PhD at the Institute of Food Chemistry and Toxicology
(Prof. Dr. A. Hartwig), University of Karlsruhe (summa cum laude)


Study of Food Chemistry, University of Karlsruhe
Diploma in Food Chemistry


Study of Chemistry, University of Karlsruhe

Membership in Scientific Committees

Since 2000
Member of the German Society for Research on DNA Repair (DGDR),
09/2006–09/2014 General Secretary, since 09/2014 Vice President

Since 2000
Member of the German Environmental Mutagen Society (GUM),
2009–2015 Vice President

Since 2000
Member of European Environmental Mutagen Society (EEMS)

Since 2000
Member of the Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM)

Since 2004
Member of the Society of Food Chemistry (LChG),
part of the German Chemical Society (GDCh)

Since 2006
Member of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS),
Since 09/2007 Member of the Advisory Board

Since 2006
Member of the Federation of European Societies on Trace Elements and Minerals (FESTEM),
(Since 06/2016 Member of the Board)

Member of EFSA Working Groups, e.g., „Arsenic in Food“, Mercury and Methylmercury in Food“,
„Nickel in Feed“, „Chlorate in Food“, “PFAS”

Since 2013
Member of the Advisory Board of BFR  

Since 2013
Co-Editor of the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology

Since 2015
Member of the EFSA CONTAM Panel