Ludwig-Maxmilians-Universität München

Walter-Brendel-Zentrum für experimentelle Medizin
Ludwig-Maxmilians-Universität München
Marchioninistrasse 27
81377 Munich

Project Leader

Prof. André Brändli
Phone: +49 89 2180 76531
Fax: +49 89 2180 76503

Project Staff

Prof. Clemens Cohens

Dr. Clemens Cohen
Leader of WP7

Phone: +49 (0)89 6210-2450 

Stefan Schmitt
PhD student

Mazhar Gull
PhD student

Institute Presentation

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU) and the Medical Center (Klinikum) of the University of Munich (KUM) are among the leading academic institutions for basic and clinical research in Europe. The Walter Brendel Center of Experimental Medicine (WBex), a jointly administered research center of the LMU and KUM, is devoted to fostering translational research in cardiovascular medicine and related areas between preclinical and clinical research units. The WBex hosts a state-of-the art bioimaging facility, modern research laboratories, and a centralized animal facility capable of housing >10’000 mice and up to 1’000 Xenopus frogs.

André Brändli is a Professor of Molecular Pathophysiology at the WBex and heads the research projects that the LMU will contribute for the EuRenOmics consortium. He is a developmental biologist with more than 25 years of experience in Xenopus embryology, kidney organogenesis, vascular biology, and drug discovery research. His laboratory studies development and differentiation of the vertebrate kidney and the vascular system with the aim of translating their findings into the establishment of novel therapeutic strategies to treat renal and vascular diseases. In the past years, the laboratory has discovered novel regulators of angiogenesis, identified key genes determining cell fate in the developing kidney, and elucidated the segmental organization of the nephrons of the embryonic Xenopus kidney. Most recently, he and his coworkers have developed a proprietary in vivo chemical screening methodology in Xenopus embryos for the identification of novel small-molecule drug candidates. In the context of EuRenOmics, his laboratory will develop Xenopus models of inherited rare renal diseases, which will be employed for phenotypic drug discovery screens. Drug candidates emerging from the Xenopus drug screens will be tested in appropriate mouse models for efficacy and safety.

Clemens Cohen holds board certificates in Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Rheumatology and is head of renal division at the main hospital in Munich, Städtisches Klinikum München, and researcher at the University of Munich. As physician-scientist he established a translational research group on acquired nephropathies and is co-founder and coordinator of the European Renal cDNA Bank (FP5) and participated in EuReGene (FP6). Over the last decade he published or co-authored over 100 publications with over 2.500 citations. He acted as invited editor for the Seminars in Nephrology issue on “Systems Biology in Nephrology” and has been co-chair of the Forefront Symposium “Systems Biology and the Kidney” of the International Society of Nephrology.


  1. Kälin RE, Bänziger-Tobler NE, Detmar M, Brändli AW. An in vivo chemical library screen in Xenopus tadpoles reveals novel pathways involvedin angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Blood, 2009. 114: 1110-1122.
  2. Wheeler GN, Brändli AW. Simple vertebrate models for chemical genetics and drug discovery screens: lessons from zebrafish and Xenopus. Dev Dyn, 2009. 238: 1287-1308.
  3. Raciti D, Reggiani L, Geffers L, Jiang Q, Bacchion F, Subrizi AE, Clements D, Tindal C, Davidson DR, Kaissling B, and Brändli AW. Segmental organization of the pronephric nephron revealed by large-scale gene expression mapping of Xenopus embryos. Genome Biol, 2008. 9: R84.
  4. Christensen EI, Raciti D, Reggiani L, Verroust PJ, Brändli AW. Gene expression analysis defines the proximal tubule as the compartment forendocytic receptor-mediated uptake in the Xenopus pronephric kidney. Pflugers Arch, 2008. 456: 1163-1176.
  5. Reggiani, L., Raciti, D., Airik, R., Kispert, A., and Brändli, A.W. The prepattern transcription factor Irx3 directs nephron segment identity. Genes Dev, 2007. 21: 2358-2370.