Junior Research Group Leader Dr. Ben Schöttker, PhD

Schoettker GrDr. Ben Schöttker, PhD
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing Research
German Cancer Research Center
Im Neuenheimer Feld 581
D-69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0)6221 42 1355

2. Affiliation: Network Aging Research (NAR)

Junior Research Group “Drug safety in older adults / Oxidative stress and ageing”

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.


2. Oxidative stress and ageing

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.



  • Schöttker B, Brenner H, Jansen EHJM, et al. Evidence for the Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory of Ageing from the CHANCES consortium: A meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMC Medicine 2015; 13:300. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/13/300..
  • Schöttker B, Saum KU, Jansen EHJM, Boffetta P, Trichopoulou A, Hollezek B, Dieffenbach AK, Brenner H. Oxidative stress markers and all-cause mortality. A large population-based cohort study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2015; 70(4):518-524.
  • Schöttker B, Saum KU, Jansen EHJM, Holleczek B, Brenner H. Associations of metabolic, inflammatory and oxidative stress markers with total morbidity and multi-morbidity in a large cohort of older German adults. Age Ageing 2015 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Schöttker B, Jorde R, Peasey A, Thorand B, Jansen EHJM, de Groot L, et al. Vitamin D and mortality: Meta-analysis of individual participant data from a large consortium of cohort studies from Europe and the United States. BMJ 2014; 348:g3656.
  • Schöttker B, Herder C, Müller H, Brenner H, Rothenbacher D. Clinical utility of creatinine and cystatin C based definition of renal function for risk prediction of primary cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes. Diabetes Care 2012;35(4):879-86.
  • Schöttker B*, Herder C*, Rothenbacher D, Roden M, Kolb H, Müller H, Brenner H. Proinflammatory cytokines, adiponectin and increased risk of primary cardiovascular events in diabetes patients with or without renal dysfunction: results from the ESTHER study. Diabetes Care 2013; 36(6):1703-11. * Shared first authorship
  • Schöttker B*, Adamu MA*, Weck MN, Brenner H. Helicobacter pylori infection is strongly associated with gastric and duodenal ulcers in a large prospective study. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012;10(5):487-93. * Shared first authorship
  • Schöttker B, Haug U, Schomburg L, Köhrle J, Perna L, Müller H, Holleczek B, Brenner H. Strong associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels with all-cause, cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory disease mortality in a large cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97(4):782-793.
  • Schöttker B, Müller H, Rothenbacher D, Brenner H. Fasting plasma glucose and haemoglobin A1c in cardiovascular risk prediction - a sex specific comparison in individuals without diabetes mellitus. Diabetologia 2013;56(1):92-100.
  • Perna L*, Schöttker B*, Holleczek B, Brenner H. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and incidence of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events: a prospective study with repeated measurements. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013; 98(12):4908-15. * Shared first authorship
  • Schöttker B, Raum E, Rothenbacher D, Müller H, Brenner H. Prognostic value of haemoglobin A1c and fasting plasma glucose for incident diabetes and implications for screening. Eur J Epidemiol 2011;26(10):779-87.
  • Schöttker B, Herder C, Rothenbacher D, Perna L, Müller H, Brenner H. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and incident diabetes mellitus type 2. A competing risk analysis in a large population-based cohort of older adults. Eur J Epidemiol 2013; 28(3):267-75.
  • Schöttker B, Saum KU, Perna L, Ordóñez-Mena JM, Holleczek B, Brenner H. Is vitamin D deficiency a cause of increased morbidity and mortality at older age or simply an indicator of poor health? Eur J Epidemiol 2014; 29(3):199-210.
  • Schöttker B*, Ball D*, Gellert C, Brenner H. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and overall mortality. A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Ageing Res Rev 2013; 12(2):708-18. * Shared first authorship
  • Ordóñez-Mena JM*, Schöttker B*, Haug U, Müller H, Köhrle J, Schomburg L, Holleczek B, Brenner H. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and cancer risk in older adults. Results from a large German prospective cohort study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013; 22(5):905-16. * Shared first authorship
  • Schöttker B*, Adamu MA*, Weck MN, Müller H, Brenner H. Helicobacter pylori infection, chronic atrophic gastritis and major cardiovascular events: a population-based cohort study. Atherosclerosis 2012; 220(2):569-74. * Shared first authorship
  • Schöttker B, Zhang Y, Heiss JA, Butterbach K, Jansen EHJM, Bewerunge-Hudler M, Saum KU, Holleczek B, Brenner H. Discovery of a novel epigenetic cancer marker related to the oxidative status of human blood. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2015;  54(9):583-94.
  • Schöttker B, Jansen EHJM, Haug U, Schomburg L, Köhrle J, Brenner H. Standardization of misleading immunoassay based 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels with liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry in a large cohort study. PLoS ONE 2012;7(11): e48774. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048774.
  • Schöttker B, Brenner H, Koenig W, Müller H, Rothenbacher D. Prognostic association of HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose with reduced kidney function in subjects with and without diabetes mellitus. Results from a population-based cohort study from Germany. Prev Med 2013; 57(5):596-600.
  • Schöttker B, Brenner H. Vitamin D as a resilience factor, helpful for survival of potentially fatal conditions. A hypothesis emerging from recent findings of the ESTHER cohort study and the CHANCES consortium. Nutrients 2015, 7:3264-78; doi:10.3390/nu7053264
  • Matsushita K, Coresh J, Sang Y, Chalmers J, Fox C, Guallar E, (...), Schöttker B, et al. for the CKD Prognosis Consortium. Estimated glomerular filtration rate and albuminuria for prediction of cardiovascular outcomes: a collaborative meta-analysis of individual participant data. Lancet 2015; 3(7); 514-25.  
  • Mons U, Müezzinler A, Gellert C, Schöttker B, Abnet CC, Bobak M, et al. Impact of smoking and smoking cessation on cardiovascular events and mortality among older adults: meta-analysis of individual participant data from prospective cohort studies of the CHANCES consortium. BMJ 2015; 350:h1551
  • Gellert C, Schöttker B, Brenner H. Smoking and all-cause mortality in older people – Systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(11):837-44.
  • Silbernagel G, Schöttker B, Scharnagl H, Kleber ME, Grammer TB, Ritsch A, et al. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and cardiovascular mortality. Eur Heart J 2013; 34(46):3563-3571.



04/2002-06/2007  License to practice pharmacy (Approbation), Philipps-University of Marburg.
10/2006-03/2009 MPH (Magister Public Health), TU Dresden
04/2008-11/2010 PhD. (Dr. rer. hum. biol.), Division of Health Technology Assessment and Evidence-based Medicine, Institute of Social Medicine, University of Lübeck
2012-2015 Qualification as a university lecturer (Habilitation), Heidelberg University, subjects: Public health and epidemiology
since 10/2009 Postdoctoral scientist, Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing Research, DKFZ, Heidelberg. Ageing research with data of the ESTHER study and the EU-funded Consortium on Health and Ageing: Network of Cohorts in Europe and the United States (CHANCES)
since 01/2016 Junior research group leader for the topic “Oxidative stress”, Network Ageing Research (NAR), Heidelberg University
since 01/2017 Professor for Public Health, FOM University, Mannheim








Editor: Email
Latest Revision: 2018-02-13
zum Seitenanfang/up