Junior Research Group I Drug Safety in Older Adults / Oxidative Stress and Ageing

The junior research group is addressing two different topics:

On the one hand, research is to being carried out on drug safety at old age. Here the focus is on drugs that have low risks for adverse events in younger adults, but have an increased risk at old age due to limited organ functions (e.g. of the kidney).

On the other hand, the junior research group is addressing potential associations between oxidative stress biomarkers, which were measured in blood or urine samples of older study participants, and typical age-related diseases, such as dementia.


Schoetker Gruppe Neu

Group photo 2019 for 2nd project phase 02/2019 – 01/2022
Thi Ngoc Mai Nguyen, Kira Trares, Li-Ju Chen and Dr. Ben Schöttker (from left to right)

Schoetker Gruppe2 Neu

Group photo 2016 for the 1st project phase: 02/2006 - 01/2019.

In the front: Dr. Ankita Anusruti. Yang Xuan, Dr. Dana Clarissa Muhlack, Dr. Ben Schöttker, Dr. Liesa Katharina Hoppe, Xin Gao (from left to right)



Schoettker Ben

Ben Schöttker, PhD

Junior Research Group Leader






The junior research group is addressing two different topics:

1. Drug Safety in Older Adults

Polypharmacy (simultaneous prescription of 5 or more drugs), potentially inappropriate medication for older adults, potentially serious drug interactions, inappropriately dosed drugs, non-adherence and medication handling deficits are common medication problems in older adults. It is the aim of the research group to assess the relevance of the named medication problems for patient-oriented health outcomes like symptoms that often reflect adverse drug reactions, falls with subsequent fractures, cardiovascular events, hospitalization, cognitive impairment, nursing home admission, multimorbidity, frailty and premature death.

(The following doctoral students are assigned to this topic. Please click on the names for further information.)


Chen KlLi-Ju Chen (2nd project phase)

Polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medication in older colorectal cancer patients






Mai Kl

Mai Nguyen (2nd project phase)

Analgesics utilisation in the older German population and implications for gastrointestinal ulcers, renal function, and cardiovascular events







Dr. Liesa Katharina Hoppe (1st project phase)

Risk of abnormal serum potassium levels for cardiovascular events with specific attention to drugs affecting potassium excretion








Dr. Dana Clarissa Laetsch, geb. Muhlack (1st project phase)

Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use – Risk Factors and Associations with Frailty and Mortality






2. Oxidative Stress and Aging

The Free Radical/Oxidative Stress theory of ageing puts an increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the centre of processes that promote cell aging. ROS are a natural by-product of mitochondrial energy synthesis. Oxidative stress occurs when the natural production of ROS cannot be balanced by anti-oxidative capacities of tissues. This primarily leads to mitochondrial DNA damage and dysfunction and a higher apoptosis rate of cells. In the past, a major problem for large studies in humans in this research area was that ROS cannot be measured in plasma or serum samples because they have a very short half-life. However, biomarker kits for indirect measures of the oxidative status of blood are being developed. It is of interest in this research group, whether these indirect biomarkers of oxidative stress are associated with mortality and age-related diseases. Several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, cancer and dementia have been proposed to be in part caused by ROS damage but there is little evidence from prospective cohort studies in humans so far. Furthermore, the research group is interested in discovering epigenetic mechanisms of regulation of oxidative stress pathways to age-related diseases.

(The following doctoral students are assigned to this topic. Please click on the names for further information.)


Kira Kl

Kira Trares (2nd project phase)

Risk prediction of vascular dementia using inflammatory parameters, lipids and biomarkers of oxidative stress






Anusruti Neu KlDr. Ankita Anusruti (1st project phase)

The risk and preventive factors for high serum levels of biomarkers of oxidative stress with a focus on obesity and type 2 diabetes






Gao Kl

Xin Gao (1st project phase)

Biomarkers of oxidative stress and related DNA methylation: the associations with cancer development






Xuan KlYang Xuan (1st project phase)

Evaluation of oxidative stress biomarkers as risk factors for myocardial infarction, stroke and type 2 diabetes mellitus in the general older population and as risk factors for diabetes complications





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Latest Revision: 2021-09-21
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