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

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)

  • Environmental Health and Medical Ecology
    Head: Claudia Gundacker
    Research Area: Reproduction Toxicology and Environmental Health with specific emphasis on the metabolism and transport of metals (mercury, iron, lead, and cadmium) and perfluoroalkyl substances across the human placenta.

Research interests

My research interest is in Reproduction Toxicology and Environmental Health with emphasis on metabolism and transport of metals (mercury, iron, lead, and cadmium) and perfluoralkyl substances across the human placenta. In search of proteins that mediate placental kinetics, i.e., uptake, distribution, biotransformation, and efflux of the substances, we combine Human Biomonitoring and genotyping with basic research on placental in vitro models. The aim is to identify genetic variants related to placental dysfunctions and pregnancy diseases.


Techniques, methods & infrastructure

Human Biomonitoring, Genotyping, Molecular biology, Cell culture, Primary cells, Trace element analysis (AFS, AAS)


Selected publications

  1. 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. Arch Toxicol doi:10.1007/s00204-020-02900-5
  2. Gundacker C, Ellinger I (2020) The unique applicability of the human placenta to the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) concept: the placenta provides fundamental insights into human organ functions at multiple levels of biological organization. Reproductive Toxicology 96:273-281. doi:
  3. Gundacker, C. et al., 2016. Genetics of the human placenta: implications for toxicokinetics. Archives of Toxicology, 90(11), pp.2563-2581. Available at:
  4. Widhalm et al. (2020) Human placental cell line HTR-8/SVneo accumulates cadmium by divalent metal transporters DMT1 and ZIP14. Metallomics doi:10.1039/D0MT00199F
  5. Gundacker, C., Gencik, M. & Hengstschläger, M., 2010. The relevance of the individual genetic background for the toxicokinetics of two significant neurodevelopmental toxicants: Mercury and lead. Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research, 705(2), pp.130-140. Available at: