Mission Statement

“Understanding the mechanisms of kidney aging and the relevance of interorgan signalling in this process”

— Oliver Kretz, MD

Team Members


Nina Ziegert

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Valerie Oberüber


Many of the phenotypes in human kidney disease are only detectable at the ultrastructural level. This holds also true for the model systems of genetic and epigenetic based disturbances of renal development, biology or aging. Our group applies transmission and scanning microscope techniques in human and animal tissue (e.g. mouse, rat, zebrafish, drosophila) in order to detect and characterize subtle ultrastructural alterations e.g. of the glomerular filtration barrier, the actin cytoskeleton or intracellular vesicle formation and trafficking at a qualitative and quantitative level.

Moreover, our thematic focus deals with the understanding of mechanisms underlying kidney aging an issue of growing relevance in the aging population of western countries. To this end we make use of the progeroid Ercc1Δ/- mutant mouse line as an experimental platform for studies into aging. It harbors attenuated Excision repair cross-complementation 1 activity, a key component of several DNA repair pathways. In this model system we apply different conditions which we and others have recently shown to have beneficial effects on aging like modulation of the activin/myostatin pathway or dietary restriction. By deep morphological, functional and molecular (single nuclei transcriptomics) analysis we aim to identify pathways involved in aging in different cell types of the kidney and in other organs like muscle, liver or CNS. Finally, we have a special interest in the concept of inter-organ communication during aging that is now emerging. We hope to identify kidney derived factors influencing the aging of other organ systems and vice versa.

Oliver Kretz, MD

III. Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)
Martinistr. 52
20246 Hamburg, Germany


Current Position

since 2017

Laboratory head, Electron microscopy facility, III. Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Prof. Dr. Tobias B. Huber

University Training

1987 - 1994

Study of Medicine, University Saarbrücken, Germany; University Rennes (F); University Vienna (A) and University Kiel, Germany (final exam: sehr gut)

2006 - 2010

Master of Health Business Administration, University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Academic qualifications


Habilitation in “Anatomy and cell biology” at the University of Freiburg (“Steroid hormone signaling in the CNS”)


MD at the University of Saarbrücken („Regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in glucocorticoid receptor knockout mice “ -  magna cum laude)

Previous professional career

Scientific postgraduate education:

2014 - 2017

Laboratory head, Electron microscopy facility, IV. Medical Clinic, University Medical Center Freiburg, Prof. Dr. Tobias B. Huber

2013 - 2014

Senior Scientist, BIOSS Cluster of Excellence, University  Freiburg, Germany

2009 - 2013

Group leader and Senior scientist at the Division of Neuroanatomy (Chair: Prof. Dr. M. Frotscher)

2001 - 2007

Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Anatomy and cell biology, University Freiburg (Prof. Dr. M. Frotscher)

1999 - 2001

Postdoctoral fellow, Division Molecular Biology of the Cell I, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Chair. Prof. Dr. G. Schütz)

1995 - 1998

Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Anatomy, Neuroanatomical Division, University Saarbrücken

Selected awards and honors


EMBO short term fellow

1999 - 2001

DFG research fellow


Young Investigator Award of the University Saarbrücken

Selected publications

Kylies D, Zimmermann M, Haas F, Schwerk M, Kuehl M, Brehler M, Czogalla J, Hernandez LC, Konczalla L, Okabayashi Y, Menzel J, Edenhofer I, Mezher S, Aypek H, Dumoulin B, Wu H, Hofmann S, Kretz O, Wanner N, Tomas NM, Krasemann S, Glatzel M, Kuppe C, Kramann R, Banjanin B, Schneider RK, Urbschat C, Arck P, Gagliani N, van Zandvoort M, Wiech T, Grahammer F, Sáez PJ, Wong MN, Bonn S, Huber TB, Puelles VG. Nat Nanotechnol. 2023 Apr;18(4):336-342. 
Braun F, Abed A, Sellung D, Rogg M, Woidy M, Eikrem O, Wanner N, Gambardella J, Laufer SD, Haas F, Wong MN, Dumoulin B, Rischke P, Mühlig AK, Sachs W, von Cossel K, Schulz K, Muschol N, Gersting SW, Muntau AC, Kretz O, Hahn O, Rinschen MM, Mauer M, Bork T, Grahammer F, Liang W, Eierhoff T, Römer W, Hansen A, Meyer-Schwesinger C, Iaccarino G, Tøndel C, Marti HP, Najafian B, Puelles VG, Schell C, Huber TB. J Clin Invest. 2023 Apr 4:e157782. 
Kocylowski MK, Aypek H, Bildl W, Helmstädter M, Trachte P, Dumoulin B, Wittösch S, Kühne L, Aukschun U, Teetzen C, Kretz O, Gaal B, Kulik A, Antignac C, Mollet G, Köttgen A, Göcmen B, Schwenk J, Schulte U, Huber TB, Fakler B, Grahammer F. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 28;13(1):6446. 
Aypek H, Krisp C, Lu S, Liu S, Kylies D, Kretz O, Wu G, Moritz M, Amann K, Benz K, Tong P, Hu ZM, Alsulaiman SM, Khan AO, Grohmann M, Wagner T, Müller-Deile J, Schlüter H, Puelles VG, Bergmann C, Huber TB, Grahammer F. J Clin Invest. 2022 132(9):e147253.

Pro-cachectic factors link experimental and human chronic kidney disease to skeletal muscle wasting programs.
Solagna F, Tezze C, Lindenmeyer MT, Lu S, Wu G, Liu S, Zhao Y, Mitchell R, Meyer C, Omairi S, Kilic T, Paolini A, Ritvos O, Pasternack A, Matsakas A, Kylies D, Wiesch JS zur, Turner J-E, Wanner N, Nair V, Eichinger F, Menon R, Martin I V., Klinkhammer BM, Hoxha E, Cohen CD, Tharaux P-L, Boor P, Ostendorf T, Kretzler M, Sandri M, Kretz O, Puelles VG, Patel K, Huber TB. J Clin Invest. 2021 Jun 1;131(11).

Schaupp L, Muth S, Rogell L, Kofoed-Branzk M, Melchior F, Lienenklaus S, Ganal-Vonarburg SC, Klein M, Guendel F, Hain T, Schütze K, Grundmann U, Schmitt V, Dorsch M, Spanier J, Larsen PK, Schwanz T, Jäckel S, Reinhardt C, Bopp T, Danckwardt S, Mahnke K, Heinz GA, Mashreghi MF, Durek P, Kalinke U, Kretz O, Huber TB, Weiss S, Wilhelm C, Macpherson AJ, Schild H, Diefenbach A, Probst HC.  Cell. 2020 May 28;181(5):1080-1096.e19. 
Alyodawi K, Vermeij WP, Omairi S, Kretz O, Hopkinson M, Solagna F, Joch B, Brandt RMC, Barnhoorn S, van Vliet N, Ridwan Y, Essers J, Mitchell R, Morash T, Pasternack A, Ritvos O, Matsakas A, Collins-Hooper H, Huber TB, Hoeijmakers JHJ, Patel K. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2019 Jun;10(3):662-686.
Klein Geltink RI, O'Sullivan D, Corrado M, Bremser A, Buck MD, Buescher JM, Firat E, Zhu X, Niedermann G, Caputa G, Kelly B, Warthorst U, Rensing-Ehl A, Kyle RL, Vandersarren L, Curtis JD, Patterson AE, Lawless S, Grzes K, Qiu J, Sanin DE, Kretz O, Huber TB, Janssens S, Lambrecht BN, Rambold AS, Pearce EJ, Pearce EL. Cell. 2017 Oct 5;171(2):385-397.e11.
Chatterjee A, Seyfferth J, Lucci J, Gilsbach R, Preissl S, Böttinger L, Mårtensson CU, Panhale A, Stehle T, Kretz O, Sahyoun AH, Avilov S, Eimer S, Hein L, Pfanner N, Becker T, Akhtar A. Cell. 2016 Oct 20;167(3):722-738.e23.
Buck MD, O'Sullivan D, Klein Geltink RI, Curtis JD, Chang CH, Sanin DE, Qiu J, Kretz O, Braas D, van der Windt GJ, Chen Q, Huang SC, O'Neill CM, Edelson BT, Pearce EJ, Sesaki H, Huber TB, Rambold AS, Pearce EL. Cell. 2016 Jun 30;166(1):63-76.



November 2023 | News

Great success for kidney research at the UKE: Approval of the third funding period of the SFB 1192

The Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 1192 "Immune-Mediated Glomerular Diseases" of the ...

November 28, 2023 | Lecture, Prof. Dr. Ulf Panzer

Role of T cells and cytokines in (renal) autoimmunity

August 2023 | New Publication

An integrated organoid omics map extends modeling potential of kidney disease

UKE Paper of the Month (PoM) September 2023 

Martinistraße 52
Campus Research N27
20246 Hamburg Germany
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University Medical Center Hamburg - Eppendorf