As basic cancer researchers, we design and analyze new compounds for their potential to be used as an alternative to classical chemotherapeutics.

Thereby, we assist in the development of novel cancer drugs that are highly effective and ideally cause fewer side effects.


Many chemotherapeutic agents still do not act solely on tumor leukemia cells. Therefore, they cause unpleasant side effects for patients. For this reason, we are interested in the identification of selective antitumoural or antileukemic compounds and, hence, the further development of non-platinum metal complexes (such as salen and salophen iron complexes, gold complexes, etc.). Additionally, we undertake investigations to identify new mechanisms of action.

Research Team Members

Assoz. Prof. Univ. Doz. Mag. Dr. Brigitte Kircher

Project Leader

Patricia Grabher, M.Sc.

Doctoral Student

Amelie Scherfler, M.Sc.

Doctoral Student

Our aim is to further comprehend the molecular factors behind the onset of cancer.


Selected Publications

  • Descher, H., Strich, S. L., Hermann, M., Enoh, P., Kircher, B. & Gust R. Investigations on the Influence of the Axial Ligand in [Salophene]iron(III) Complexes on Biological Activity and Redox Behavior. Int J Mol Sci, 24(3):2173. (2023).
  • Steiner, N., Göbel, G., Mauser, L., Mühlnikel, L., Fischinger, M., Künz, T., Willenbacher, W., Hetzenauer, G., Rudzki, J., Nussbaumer, W., Mayer, W., Gunsilius, E., Kircher, B., Wolf, D. & Nachbaur, D. Poor Mobilizers in Lymphoma but Not Myeloma Patients Had Significantly Poorer Progression-Free Survival after Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation: Results of a Large Retrospective, Single-Center Observational Study. Cancers (Basel), 15(3):608. (2023).
  • Ma, B. N., Baecker, D., Descher, H., Brandstaetter, P., Hermann, M., Kircher, B. & Gust, R. Synthesis and biological evaluation of salophen nickel(II) and cobalt(III) complexes as potential anticancer compounds. Arch Pharm (Weinheim), e2200655. Epub ahead of print. (2023).
  • Goetzfried, S. K., Kapitza P., Gallati, C. M., Nindl, A., Cziferszky, M., Hermann, M., Wurst, K., Kircher, B. & Gust, R. Investigations of the reactivity, stability and biological activity of halido (NHC)gold(I) complexes. Dalton Trans, 51:1395-1406. (2022).
  • Baecker, D., Kapp, T., Schumacher, P., Gust, R. & Kircher, B. Cell death-inducing properties of selected dendrimers against different breast cancer and leukemia cell lines. Arch Pharm, 353: e2000209. (2020).
  • Baecker, D., Ma, B. N., Sagasser, J., Schultz, L., Hörschläger, C., Weinreich, M., Steiner, L., Kircher, B. & Gust, R. Amide and ester derivatives of chlorido[4-carboxy-1,2-disalicylideneaminobenzene]iron(III) as necroptosis and ferroptosis inducers. Dalton Trans, 49: 6842-6853. (2020).

All Publications