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Associated Member since 03/19 | Project

Translational Research Group

Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Mannheim

Heidelberg University



Katja Breitkopf-Heinlein is the principal coordinator of the translation research projects of the Dept. of Surgery, University Medical Center Mannheim at Heidelberg University. She graduated in Biology at the University of Cologne, performed her postdoctoral training at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry, RWTH-Aachen, where she became PI of an SFB project. She moved on doing translational research with a focus on molecular mechanisms of liver diseases at the II. Medical Clinic, University Medical Center Mannheim at Heidelberg University. In January 2021 she started her work in the Dept. of Surgery. Already in 2007 she habilitated and received the “Venia Legendi” for Molecular Medicine at the Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg.

Qualifications and Scientific Curriculum







2015 - 2020

since 2021

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Cologne, Germany

PhD-thesis at the Institute of Dermatology, University of Cologne, Germany

Postdoctoral Fellow and group-leader (SFB 542) at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, RWTH-University-Hospital, Aachen, Germany

Senior Scientist at the Division of Molecular Alcohol Research in Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine II, University-Hospital at Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany

Habilitation in “Molecular Medicine” at the Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany

One year "Sabbatical in the Industry" at the company Medicyte in Heidelberg. Sponsored by a grant from the Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany

PI of Translational Hepatology group at the Department of Medicine II, University-Hospital at Mannheim, Heidelberg University

Coordinator of translational research projects at the Dept. of Surgery, University-Hospital at Mannheim, Heidelberg University

Selected publications

  1. Gaitantzi H, Karch J, Germann L, Cai C, Rausch V, Birgin E, Rahbari N, Seitz T, Hellerbrand C, König C, Augustin HG, Mogler C, de la Torre C, Gretz N, Itzel T, Teufel A, Ebert MPA, Breitkopf-Heinlein K: BMP-9 Modulates the Hepatic Responses to LPS. Cells, 9:617, 2020.

  2. Aghamaliyev U, Gaitantzi H, Thomas M, Simon-Keller K, Gaiser T, Marx A, Yagublu V, Araos J, Cai C, Valous NA, Halama N, Kiesslich T, Ebert M, Grützmann R, Rückert F, Breitkopf-Heinlein K: Downregulation of SPARC Is Associated with Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Low Differentiation State of Biliary Tract Cancer Cells. Eur Surg Res, 60:1-12, 2019.

  3. Gaitantzi H, Meyer C, Rakoczy P, Thomas M, Wahl K, Wandrer F, Bantel H, Alborzinia H, Wölfl S, Ehnert S, Nüssler A, Bergheim I, Ciuclan L, Ebert M, Breitkopf-Heinlein K, Dooley S: Ethanol sensitizes hepatocytes for TGF-β- triggered apoptosis. Cell Death Dis, 9:51, 2018.

  4. Breitkopf-Heinlein K, Meyer C, König C, Gaitantzi H, Addante A, Thomas M, Wiercinska E, Li Q, Wan F, Hellerbrand C, Valous NA, Hahnel M, Bode JG, Müller-Bohl S, Klingmüller U, Altenöder J, Ilkavets I, Goumans M, Hawinkels LJAC, Lee S, Wieland M, Mogler C, Ebert MP, Herrera B, Augustin H, Sánchez A, Dooley S, tenDijke P. BMP-9 interferes with liver regeneration and promotes liver fibrosis. Gut, 66:939-54, 2017

  5. Koch PS, Olsavszky V, Ulbrich F, Sticht C, Demory A, Leibing T, Henzler T, Meyer M, Zierow J, Schneider S, Breitkopf-Heinlein K, Gaitantzi H, Spencer-Dene B, Arnold B, Klapproth K, Schledzewski K, Goerdt S, Géraud C. Angiocrine Bmp2 signaling in murine liver controls normal iron homeostasis. Blood. 2017;129:415-9.

  6. Ramachandran SD, Schirmer K, Münst B, Heinz S, Ghafoory S, Wölfl S, Simon-Keller K, Marx A, Øie CI, Ebert MP, Walles H, Braspenning J, Breitkopf-Heinlein K. In Vitro Generation of Functional Liver Organoid-Like Structures Using Adult Human Cells. PLoS One,10:e0139345, 2015.

  7. Gobejishvili L*, Barve S*, Breitkopf-Heinlein K*, Li Y, Zhang J, Avila DV, Dooley S, McClain CJ. Rolipram attenuates bile duct ligation-induced liver injury in rats: a potential pathogenic role of PDE4. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 347:80-90, 2013 (*KB-H, LG and SB contributed equally).

  8. Li Q, Gu X, Weng H, Ghafoory S, Liu Y, Feng T, Dzieran J, Li L, Ilkavets I, Kruithof-de Julio M, Munker S, Marx A, Piiper A, Augusto Alonso E, Gretz N, Gao C, Wölfl S, Dooley S, Breitkopf-Heinlein K. Bone morphogenetic protein-9 induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Cancer Sci. 104:398-408, 2013

  9. Ciuclan L, Ehnert S, Ilkavets I, Weng H-L, Gaitantzi H, Tsukamoto H, Ueberham E, Singer MV, Breitkopf K*, Dooley S*. TGF-β enhances alcohol dependent hepatocyte damage via down regulation of alcohol dehydrogenase I. J. Hepatol, 52:407-16, 2009 (*KB and SD contributed equally).

  10. Wiercinska E, Wickert L, Denecke B, Said HM, Hamzavi J, Gressner AM, Thorikay M, ten Dijke P, Mertens PR, Breitkopf K*, Dooley S*. Id1 is a critical mediator in TGF-beta-induced transdifferentiation of rat hepatic stellate cells. Hepatology, 43:1032-41, 2006 (*KB and SD contributed equally).

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