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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)

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 per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) 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, Placental primary cells, Trace element analysis (AFS, AAS)


Selected publications

  1. Forsthuber, M. et al. (2022) ‘Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) inhibits vessel formation in a human 3D co-culture angiogenesis model (NCFs/HUVECs)’, Environmental Pollution, 293, p. 118543. 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. 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, pp.273–281. 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: