Clinical proteomics and metabolomics

​​​​​Head of the working group: Prof. Dr. rer.nat. Uta Ceglarek          

Research interests

The clinical mass spectrometry group develops novel analytical mass spectrometry-based concepts for metabolome and proteome analysis of human body fluids and tissues. These concepts are used to investigate metabolic / protein alterations and lipid modifications in dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. Targeted high-throughput approaches based on liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and linear ion trap (LIT) technology have been developed for application in large-scale cohort studies (e.g. LIFE-Heart and LIFE-Adult) and the systems-biological modulation of metabolic pathways. The mass spectrometry assays fulfil quality criteria in accordance with DIN EN ISO 15189:2014 and DIN EN ISO 17025:2005. The group has the expertise to translate in-house developed methods into routine clinical applications and to implement them. The systems currently available comprise an API 4000, QTRAP 5500, QTRAP 6500, and QTRAP 6500+ (Sciex).

The main research topics of the group are:

  1. Steroid hormones: analytical concepts and translation into clinical routine application (Dr. Alexander Gaudl)

  2. Obesity and lipid metabolism of the brain (Madlen Reinicke, M.Sc.)

  3. Analytical concepts for targeted proteomics and translation into clinical routine application (Dr. Julia Dittrich)

  4. Targeted and non-targeted omics approaches for tissue and cell culture application (Dr. Ilijana Begcevic Brkovic)


Mass spectrometry assays are available for the following metabolites / proteins:

Currently the group is conducting collaborative projects within Leipzig University and with both national and international external institutions; it is funded by the German Research Foundation (CRC1052), the federal state of Saxony and the European Union.

Five most representative publications

  1. ​Ceglarek U, Dittrich J, Leopold J, Helmschrodt C, Becker S, Staab H, Richter O, Rohm S, Aust G. Free cholesterol, cholesterol precursor and plant sterol levels in atherosclerotic plaques are independently associated with symptomatic advanced carotid artery stenosis. Atherosclerosis 2020; 295:18-24.

  2. Dittrich J, Beutner F, Teren A, Thiery J, Burkhardt R, Scholz M, Ceglarek U. Plasma levels of apolipoproteins C-III, A-IV, and E are independently associated with stable atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis 2019; 281:17-24.

  3. Dittrich J, Adam M, Maas H, Hecht M, Reinicke M, Ruhaak LR, Cobbaert C, Engel C, Wirkner K, Löffler M, Thiery J, Ceglarek U. Targeted On-line SPE-LC-MS/MS Assay for the Quantitation of 12 Apolipoproteins from Human Blood. Proteomics 2018; 18:1700279.

  4. Gaudl A, Kratzsch J, Bae YJ, Kiess W, Thiery J, Ceglarek U. Liquid chromatography quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometry for quantitative steroid hormone analysis in plasma, urine, saliva and hair. J Chromatogr A 2016; 1464:64-71.

  5. Burkhardt R, Kirsten H, Beutner F, Holdt LM, Gross A, Teren A, Tönjes A, Becker S, Krohn K, Kovacs P, Stumvoll M, Teupser D, Thiery J, Ceglarek U, Scholz M. Integration of Genome-Wide SNP Data and Gene-Expression Profiles Reveals Six Novel Loci and Regulatory Mechanisms for Amino Acids and Acylcarnitines in Whole Blood. PLoS Genet 2015; 11:e1005510.



​Head of the group

​Prof. Dr. Uta Ceglarek
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​Scientist position

​Dr. Anna Didio
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Dr. Julia Dittrich
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Dr. Alexander Gaudl
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Dr. Madlen Reinicke
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Kudor Harb
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MD students

Julian Emonds
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​Clemens Ringel
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​Technical  staff

​Babette Zögner, MTLA
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Surab Kamalsada

​Student assistants /
Master students

Laura Lehmicke


Thesis or practical work in our research group

About the Project

The Collaborative Research Centre 1052 “Obesity Mechanisms” was established in 2013 with funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG). The doctoral researcher position is limited to 3 years. The salary is paid according to the German TV-L system (the salary agreement for public service employees).

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Uta Ceglarek

More Details:

The Collaborative Research Center 1052 “Obesity Mechanisms” was established in 2013 with funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG). The CRC1052 combines interdisciplinary basic and clinical research across biochemistry, biophysics and chemistry, endocrinology, neuroscience, paediatrics, and cardiology. It aims to provide structured doctoral training centrally aligned in three main research areas – A, Overeating, B, Fat deposition and inflammation, and C, Adipokines. In CRC project A9​, the impact of obesity-related high-fat diet on cerebral sterol metabolism and neuroinflammation will be investigated. Mass spectrometric based metabolomics and proteomics methods will be applied for functional experiments and patient cohorts.

Tasks & responsibilities

  • Analyze biological samples from cell, animal and clinical studies by LC-MS/MS methodologies and advanced statistical software tools.
  • Develop a blood-brain barrier model to study obesity-related influencing factors on plant sterol transport into the brain across capillary endothelial cells and microglia
  • Perform immunoblotting, immune staining and gene expression profiling


Your profile:

  • You are a highly qualified and motivated student holding a (or being close to obtaining) M.Sc. or equi­valent degree in Biochemistry, Cell / Molecular Biology, Analytical Chemistry, Neuro­science or related fields
  • Ideally, you have first practical scientific expertise, in preparation techniques for biological sample material (e.g. plasma, tissue etc.)
  • You are interested in statistical analysis and handling big data

 Application advertisment as PDF

How to apply

For application and further information, please contact the lead supervisor, Prof. Ceglarek (​)

The applications will be accepted until 15th of September via e-mail, including a full academic CV,

publication list (if any), copies of your degree certificates and contact details of two referees (if any).​

Paul-List-Str. 13-15, Haus T
04103 Leipzig
0341 - 97 22200
Leitstelle (24h):
0341 - 97 22222
0341 - 97 22209