Associated Member since 03/19 | Project

Translational Hepatology Group

Department of Medicine II, University Medical Center Mannheim

Heidelberg University



Katja Breitkopf-Heinlein is head of the Translational Hepatology group, located at the research facility of the Department of Medicine II, 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 theDepartment of Medicine II, University Medical Center Mannheim at Heidelberg University. In 2007 she habilitated and received the “Venia Legendi” for Molecular Medicine at the University of Heidelberg.

Qualifications and Scientific Curriculum







since 2015

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

Selected publications

  1. 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

  2. Géraud C, Koch PS, Zierow J, Klapproth K, Busch K, Olsavszky V, Leibing T, Demory A, Ulbrich F, Diett M, Singh S, Sticht C, Breitkopf-Heinlein K, Richter K, Karppinen SM, Pihlajaniemi T, Arnold B, Rodewald HR, Augustin HG, Schledzewski K, Goerdt S. GATA4-dependent organ-specific endothelial differentiation controls liver development and embryonic hematopoiesis. J Clin Invest. 27:1099-1114, 2017

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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).

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. 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).

  9. Breitkopf K, Sawitza I, Westhoff JH, Wickert L, Dooley S, Gressner AM. Thrombospondin 1 acts as a strong promoter of transforming growth factor beta effects via two distinct mechanisms in hepatic stellate cells. Gut 54:673-81, 2005

  10. Breitkopf K, Lahme B, Tag CG, Gressner AM. Expression and matrix deposition of latent transforming growth factor beta binding proteins in normal and fibrotic rat liver and transdifferentiating hepatic stellate cells in culture. Hepatology 33:387-96, 2001


European Center for Angioscience

Medical Faculty Mannheim
Heidelberg University

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