Biomarker research at the IKC aims at finding and validating new biomarkers, as well as introducing new technologies and methods relevant to laboratory medicine at an early stage.

Lipidomics and metabolomics: As part of research projects of the IKC on ‘HDL’ and ‘sphingolipids’, methods have been developed to measure glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, bile acids and oxysterols. These and other metabolites (e.g. trimethylamine N-oxide TMAO) are evaluated in clinical studies with respect to associations with diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Drug monitoring and toxicology: The IKC continues its tradition of developing mass spectrometry methods for the measurement of drug levels and detection of poisoning.

Protein markers and proteomics: Using secretomes created via tissue culture of surgically derived vascular preparations, researchers at the IKC are looking for new biomarker candidates for the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques (in collaboration with the Department of Cardiology and financed by the Swiss Heart Foundation) or acute aortic dissection (in collaboration with the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery as well as the ETH Zurich and financed by the Foundation for Pathobiochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics as well as the Hochschulmedizin Zürich). The discovered candidate proteins are validated in plasma samples with respect to their diagnostic and prognostic significance. In parallel to this hypothesis-free, systems biology-based approach, also hypotheses-driven candidate proteins are evaluated in biobank samples of local, national and international studies for their diagnostic and prognostic significance, in particular for cardiovascular, respiratory and renal disorders.

MicroRNAs: microRNAs are highly stable in plasma. Therefore, and as many of them are only expressed in specific cells, they have diagnostic potential. In a project supported by the Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology and the Swiss Diabetes Association, the IKC investigates the association of microRNAs with diabetes mellitus and its complications.


Prof. Arnold von Eckardstein (chairman of the institute)
Dr. Joanna Gawinecka (resident)
Prof. Thorsten Hornemann (assistant professor)
Dr. Daniel Müller (scientific laboratory director)
Dr. Lucia Rohrer (scientific laboratory director)
Dr. Lanja Saleh (scientific laboratory director)
Dr. med. Katharina Spanaus (scientific laboratory director)

Contact address

University Hospital Zurich
Institute of Clinical Chemistry
Prof. Arnold von Eckardstein
Rämistrasse 100
8091 Zurich
Tel +41 44 255 22 60

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