Professor Stefan Herzig: Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) and metabolite detection (mass spectrometry) (Institute of Pharmacology)

At the Department of Pharmacology, chromatography-based approaches have been established and used for detection of drugs and small molecules for many years. During the last decade, the high-sensitivity and specificity offered by LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry) technology became very important (current equipment: 1 TSQuantum system, 2 TSQVantage systems, Thermo Fisher Scientific, 1 ABI 5000 system, Applied Biosystems). Our LC-MS/MS platform serves both as a major part of routine analysis for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) and as a powerful technique for research. We have established new procedures for detection of drugs and metabolites in a variety of patient samples and matrices (e.g., cardiac pacemaker HCN channels, HCN blocker ivabradine and its metabolites in samples from sepsis patients, use of LC-MS/MS for specific detection and quantification of endogenous substances as well as for (unbiased) identification of initially unknown small molecules in lysates from both cultured cells and native tissue. Given these methodological abilities and our own research interest - e.g., molecular mechanisms of vascular disease and heart failure - we will provide a valuable analytical platform to support the CCRC graduate program.

Research Interests:

My group tries to gain a deep understanding of the structure, function and regulation of voltage-gated calcium channels . These channels serve as drug targets for important cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension in the case of classical L-type calcium channel blockers . In studying the role of calcium channels in various physiological and disease contexts such as atherosclerosis, endocrine or neuropsychiatric disorders we aim to further exploit this therapeutic potential. We use classical molecular and cell biology techniques together with patch clamp electrophysiology, using recombinant systems, genetic mouse models and human tissue samples.