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Claudia Gundacker
Assoc. Prof. Priv. Doz. Mag. Dr. Claudia Gundacker, PhD

Center for Pathobiochemistry and Genetics (Institute of Medical Genetics )
Position: Associate Professor

ORCID: 0000-0003-4093-3780
T +43 1 56503

Further Information


Environmental Health; Environmental Pollutants; Genetics, Medical; Placenta

Research group(s)

Research interests

The focus of my research is on the early life exposome and associated disease risk. Dysfunction of the placenta has both direct and longer-term health effects. We combine human biomonitoring studies in mother-newborn pairs with in vitro toxicology. This allows us to study placental physiology and function in the context of prenatal exposure to xenobiotics such as the ‘forever’ chemicals PFAS. In this way, we are exploring mechanisms underlying adverse birth outcome. Another interest is the study of placental iron metabolism in order to develop improved therapy for preterm infants with low iron levels.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

Human Biomonitoring, In vito toxicology, Genotyping, Molecular biology, Cell culture, Placental primary cells, Trace element analysis (AFS, AAS)


Selected publications

  1. Krausová, M. et al. (2022) ‘Understanding the Chemical Exposome During Fetal Development and Early Childhood: A Review’, Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 63(1). Available at:
  2. Gundacker, C. et al., 2021. Gene Variants Determine Placental Transfer of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), Mercury (Hg) and Lead (Pb), and Birth Outcome: Findings From the UmMuKi Bratislava-Vienna Study. Frontiers in Genetics, 12. Available at:
  3. Forsthuber, M. et al. (2020) ‘Albumin is the major carrier protein for PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, PFNA and PFDA in human plasma’, Environment International, 137, p. 105324. Available at:
  4. Granitzer, S. et al., 2020. In vitro function and in situ localization of Multidrug Resistance-associated Protein (MRP)1 (ABCC1) suggest a protective role against methyl mercury-induced oxidative stress in the human placenta. Archives of Toxicology, 94(11), pp.3799–3817. Available at:
  5. Widhalm, R. et al., 2020. Human placental cell line HTR-8/SVneo accumulates cadmium by divalent metal transporters DMT1 and ZIP14. Metallomics, 12(11), pp.1822–1833. Available at: