The research group around the TraceAge Co-speakerLutz Schomburg bridges basic with clinical research. The group started its contribution to the TE field in generating knockout and transgenic mice with respect to the major selenium transport protein in mammals, i.e., selenoprotein P (SePP). From there on, the group pioneered the research in molecular sex-specific differences of selenium metabolism and selenoprotein expression, both in mouse and in human analyses. Besides the groups of Raymond Burk and Kazuhiko Takahashi, the Schomburg group was the first to develop a SePP-specific ELISA. Notably, they pioneered in using these assays for a consequent analysis of both the total selenium concentration in serum or plasma in combination with the selenium transporter SePP in different clinical cohorts, e.g., with respect to bone turnover, thyroid diseases or cancer risk. Notably, they contributed decisively to the characterization of the first human patients with inherited defects in the selenoprotein biosynthesis machinery.
In cell culture analyses, the team around Schomburg characterized different external noxae on the selenoprotein expression pattern, including different selenium compounds, hypoxia, proinflammatory cytokines or drugs of the aminoglycoside family of antibiotics. Currently, the focus of the team is expanding the TE analyses from the focus of Se and selenoproteins to the interaction of Se with different TEs like Cu and Zn. In doing so, they succeeded in e.g. defining the Cu-to-Se-ratio as a novel readout for the analysis of thyroid function and hepatic response to thyroid hormones.

Membership in Scientific Committees:

German Society for Trace Elements and Minerals (GMS),

2013 Conference President of 29th Annual Meeting,

Since 2013 Vice President

European Thyroid Association (ETA)

German Endocrine Society (DGE)

European Society for Endocrinology (ESE)

Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (GBM)

International Society for Selenium Research (ISSR), Since 2011 Vice President