Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge


Dr. Nicole Bechmann 

Principal Investigator

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                                             Dr. Susan Richter

                                                                           Co-Principal Investigator

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Research focus

The adrenal glands are a central relay of the body building the interface between endocrine, metabolic and neuronal signals that regulate a multitude of physiological processes. Tumours arising in the adrenal cortex, the medulla or in related structures of the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system cause several forms of endocrine hypertension, such as primary aldosteronism, hypercortisolism (Cushing´s syndrome) and pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (catecholamine excess). Our group studies the pathophysiological processes involved in tumourigenesis and progression of these neoplasms with a special interest in the interplay between genetics, metabolism, adrenal hormones and sexual dimorphism. Through clinical investigations and basic research approaches, we aim to improve diagnosis and therapeutic strategies for adrenal tumours.

Specific expertise

  • Adrenal physiology and diseases
  • Catecholamine and steroid metabolism
  • Tumor biology (e.g. metabolism, migration/ invasion)
  • Cell line models (2D, 3D, flow-through) for pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma and adrenocortical carcinoma
  • Methods for functional validation of variants of unknown significance in Krebs cycle genes
  • Gene editing (transient and stable knockdowns, CRISPR/Cas9)
  • Studies of small molecule inhibitors

Basic research and cell line models 

  • pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma and adrenocortical carcinoma cell line models
  • gene editing (transient and stable knockdowns, CRISPR/Cas9)
  • tumor cell biology (metabolism, migration/ invasion)
  • studies of small molecule inhibitors




Lab Members

Dr. Bechmann, NicolePrincipal Investigator
Fröbel, DennisPhD student
Helm, JanaPhD student
Gebhardt, MarcelTechnician
Poser, IsabelTechnician
Dr. Richter, SusanPrincipal Investigator
Stanke, DanielaTechnician
Zygiene, GintarePhD student

Selected Publications

  • Bechmann N, Calsina B, Richter S, Pietzsch J. Therapeutic Potential of Nitric Oxide‒Releasing Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators in Malignant Melanoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2022 Aug;142(8):2217-2227
  • Bechmann N, Eisenhofer G. Hypoxia-inducible Factor 2α: A Key Player in Tumorigenesis and Metastasis of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma? Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2022 May;130(5):282-289
  • Bechmann N, Barthel A, Schedl A, Herzig S, Varga Z, Gebhard C, Mayr M, Hantel C, Beuschlein F, Wolfrum C, Perakakis N, Poston L, Andoniadou CL, Siow R, Gainetdinov RR, Dotan A, Shoenfeld Y, Mingrone G, Bornstein SR. Sexual dimorphism in COVID-19: potential clinical and public health implications. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2022 Mar;10(3):221-230
  • Richter S, Qiu B, Ghering M, Kunath C, Constantinescu G, Luths C, Pamporaki C, Bechmann N, Meuter L, Kwapiszewska A, Deutschbein T, Nölting S, Peitzsch M, Robledo M, Prejbisz A, Pacak K, Gudziol V, Timmers HJLM, Eisenhofer G. Head/neck paragangliomas: focus on tumor location, mutational status and plasma methoxytyramine. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2022 Mar 21;29(4):213-224
  • Helm J, Drukewitz S, Poser I, Richter S, Friedemann M, William D, Mohr H, Nölting S, Robledo M, Bornstein SR, Eisenhofer G, Bechmann N. Treatment of Pheochromocytoma Cells with Recurrent Cycles of Hypoxia: A New Pseudohypoxic In Vitro Model. Cells. 2022 Feb 5;11(3):560.
  • Bechmann N, Watts D, Steenblock C, Wallace PW, Schürmann A, Bornstein SR, Wielockx B, Eisenhofer G, Peitzsch M. Adrenal Hormone Interactions and Metabolism: A Single Sample Multi-Omics Approach. Horm Metab Res. 2021 May;53(5):326-334
  • Bechmann N, Berger I, Bornstein SR, Steenblock C. Adrenal medulla development and medullary-cortical interactions. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2021 May 15;528:111258
  • Li M, Pamporaki C, Fliedner SMJ, Timmers HJLM, Nölting S, Beuschlein F, Prejbisz A, Remde H, Robledo M, Bornstein SR, Lenders JWM, Eisenhofer G, Bechmann N. Metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: signs and symptoms related to catecholamine secretion. Discov Oncol. 2021 Mar 19;12(1):9
  • Bechmann N, Moskopp ML, Ullrich M, Calsina B, Wallace PW, Richter S, Friedemann M, Langton K, Fliedner SM, Timmers HL, Nölting S, Beuschlein F, Fassnacht M, Preijbisz A, Pacak K, Ghayee HK, Bornstein SR, Dieterich P, Pietzsch J, Wielockx B, Robledo M, Qin N, Eisenhofer G. HIF2α supports pro-metastatic behavior in pseudohypoxic pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas. Endocr Relat Cancer 2020
  • Wallace, P W, Conrad, C, Bruckmann, S, Pang, Y, Caleiras, E, Murakami, M, Korpershoek, E, Zhuang, Z, Rapizzi, E, Kroiss, M, Gudziol, V, H, J L M T, Mannelli, M, Pietzsch, J, Beuschlein, F, Pacak, K, Robledo, M, Klink, B, Peitzsch, M, Gill, A J, Tischler, A S, de Krijger, R R, Papathomas, T, Aust, D, Eisenhofer, G and Richter, S. Metabolomics, machine learning and immunohistochemistry to predict succinate dehydrogenase mutational status in phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas. J Pathol, 251:378-387 (2020)
  • Bechmann, N, Poser, I, Seifert, V, Greunke, C, Ullrich, M, Qin, N, Walch, A, Peitzsch, M, Robledo, M, Pacak, K, Pietzsch, J, Richter, S and Eisenhofer, G. Impact of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Hypoxia on Catecholamine Biosynthesis in Absence or Presence of Hif2alpha in Pheochromocytoma Cells. Cancers (Basel)11(2019)
  • Richter, S, Gieldon, L, Pang, Y, Peitzsch, M, Huynh, T, Leton, R, Viana, B, Ercolino, T, Mangelis, A, Rapizzi, E, Menschikowski, M, Aust, D, Kroiss, M, Beuschlein, F, Gudziol, V, Timmers, H J, Lenders, J, Mannelli, M, Cascon, A, Pacak, K, Robledo, M, Eisenhofer, G and Klink, B. Metabolome-guided genomics to identify pathogenic variants in isocitrate dehydrogenase, fumarate hydratase, and succinate dehydrogenase genes in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Genet Med21: 705-717 (2019)
  • Richter S, D'Antongiovanni V, Martinelli S, Bechmann N, Riverso M, Poitz DM, Pacak K, Eisenhofer G, Mannelli M, Rapizzi E. Primary fibroblast co-culture stimulates growth and metabolism in Sdhb-impaired mouse pheochromocytoma MTT cells. Cell Tissue Res. 2018 Dec;374(3):473-485
  • Bechmann, N, Ehrlich, H, Eisenhofer, G, Ehrlich, A, Meschke, S, Ziegler, C G and Bornstein, S R. Anti-Tumorigenic and Anti-Metastatic Activity of the Sponge-Derived Marine Drugs Aeroplysinin-1 and Isofistularin-3 against Pheochromocytoma In Vitro. Mar Drugs16