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Institute of Genetic Epidemiology

Welcome to the Institute of Genetic Epidemiology!


We are using data from epidemiological and clinical studies to gain insights into human physiology and the pathophysiology of complex traits and diseases, with a special focus on kidney and metabolic diseases. For this purpose, we combine genetic and epigenetic data with clinical information and biomarkers such as metabolites by applying and developing methods.

We often work in collaborative international research settings and seek for partners who use complementary methods to study similar diseases. Conversely, we are happy to support our research and clinical partners with our experience. In this way, we ultimately hope that our research will help to recognize, prevent and treat complex diseases.

The Institute of Genetic Epidemiology is part of the Department of Biometry, Epidemiology, and Medical Bioinformatics.


  • December 2017: New Publication ‘From Discovery to Translation: Characterization of C-Mannosyltryptophan and Pseudouridine as Markers of Kidney Function’ (PMID: 29234020)Using a non-targeted metabolomics platform, we recently identified C-mannosyltryptophan and pseudouridine as non-traditional kidney function markers. On the way to clinical implementation, however, detailed knowledge about these two non-traditional markers in both healthy individuals and patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is important. To address this gap we thus obtained absolute concentrations of C-mannosyltryptophan and pseudouridine by using a targeted approach with stable isotope-labeled internal standards. Furthermore, we systematically evaluated the agreement of non-targeted semi-quantitative – as obtained in the previous study – and targeted absolute measurements for these two markers to illustrate the use but also the limits of non-targeted semi-quantitative measurements, with special emphasis on composite measures of nephrological interest, the urinary metabolite-to-creatinine ratio and the fractional excretion.
  • November 25th, 2017: Science Day, Faculty of MedicineContributions from our Institute (posters by Yong Li, Pascal Schlosser, Peggy Sekula, Matthias Wuttke)
  • November 2017: ASN Kidney Week in New OrleansContributions from our Institute (talk by Anna Köttgen, posters by Ulla Schultheiss, Matthias Wuttke)
  • November 2017: Publication about DNA methylation and kidney function at Nature CommunicationsWith the participation of Pascal Schlosser and Anna Köttgen from our Institute, a publication appeared in the Journal "Nature Communications" (PMID: 29097680). The study systematically examines the association of differential DNA methylation and kidney function among several thousand study participants. The authors find a relationship between the methylation of certain DNA segments and kidney function in humans. This relationship could be validated in kidney tissue of patients with kidney disease, where differential methylation was also associated with the amount of fibrosis, a clinically important readout of kidney disease. The results support a connection between epigenetic modifications and kidney function.
  • September 2017: Anna Köttgen is awarded CHARGE Golden Tiger AwardAnna Köttgen is awarded the Cohorts for Heart & Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium Golden Tiger Award for her Leadership of the Renal Working Group at the CHARGE Meeting in Boston, USA.
  • August 2017: Prof. Dr. Anna Köttgen to receive the Franz-Volhard Preis 2017Anna Köttgen, Director of the Institute of Genetic Epidemiology at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg, will receive the Franz-Volhard Award of the German Society of Nephrology (DGfN) in 2017. The prize is awarded by the DGfN to support and decorate outstanding scientists in nephrology research. The prize will be awarded to Dr. Köttgen at the Annual Meeting of the DGfN in September of 2017.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Anna Köttgen
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

E-mail: anna.koettgen@uniklinik-freiburg.de

Phone: ++49 (0)761 270-78050

Gisela Beindorf

Dipl. Psych. Gisela Beindorf

E-mail: gisela.beindorf@uniklinik-freiburg.de

Phone: ++49 (0)761 270-74470
Fax: ++49 (0)761 270-78040

Postal Address:
Hugstetter Straße 49
D 79106 Freiburg