10 Jul 2019
10 Oct 2017 at 15:38
Dr. Christian Schiffer, a former Ph.D. student of Prof. Kaupp (Dept. Molecular Sensory Systems) at the research center caesar won the Klaus-Tschira-Prize 2017 for Verständliche Wissenschaft (“KlarText”) in Biology. The prize follows the motto “excellent research, clear writing”.
In the prize-winning scholarly article “Down the wrong track”, Christian Schiffer describes how omnipresent environmental pollutants – also known as endocrine disrupting chemicals EDC – affect the swimming of human sperm and, thereby, also indirectly fertilization of the egg. The fertilization process is utterly complex and requires different cellular signaling events working properly. Egg cells release sex hormones that help sperm in the oviduct to fertilize the egg. In his contribution, Christian Schiffer shows that some chemicals that we pick up from the environment – for example from sunscreen or toothpaste – disturb the complex mechanisms underlying fertilization. Specifically, these chemicals mimic sex hormones and interfere with the sperm cell’s proper function to reach and fertilize the egg.
The article of Christian Schiffer has been published in a magazine of DIE ZEIT from October 5th.
Christian Schiffer was born 1987 in Grevenbroich. He studied Biochemistry in Düsseldorf and made his MSc and Ph.D. theses at the research center caesar of the Max Planck Society. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Cologne. Since 2016, Dr. Schiffer works at the Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology at the University Hospital of Münster.
The caesar foundation is associated with the Max Planck Society and operates a center for neuroscience research in Bonn. The scientific work is carried out according to the excellence criteria of the Max Planck Society.