Paquet-Durand Lab

Cell Death Mechanisms

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François Paquet-Durand

First nameFrançois Dominique
Present position and titleGroup Leader "Cell Death Mechanisms Group"
Prof. Dr. rer. nat.

Business address

Institute for Ophthalmic Research
University of Tübingen
Elfriede-Aulhorn-Strasse 7
D-72076 Tübingen,

Phone: +49 (0)7071 29-87430
Fax: +49 (0)7071 29-5777
E-mail: francois.paquet-durand[at]

Academic Education

Year Degree University Field of study
2004 - 2012 German Habilitation (DSc) completed 27. Nov. 2012:
"Development and application of in situ activity assays for the visualization of neurodegenerative processes"
University of Tuebingen Neuropathlogy
1998 - 2003 Doctoral thesis at the University of Hannover (Germany), completed in November 2003: “The human NT-2 cell line as in vitro model system for the excitotoxic cascade during stroke“ University of Hannover Neuroscience
June 1998 Completed biochemistry studies with the master thesis on: “Effects of Salt Stress on enzyme activities in Zea mays“ University of Hannover Biochemistry
1989 - 1998 Biochemistry studies at the University of Hannover (Germany) and INSERM laboratories in Paris (France); Studies of tropical and marine biology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma (UNA) in Heredia (Costa Rica). University of Hannover Biochemistry

Professional Experience

Period Position
09/2012 - Coordinator of the Collaborative Project DRUGSFORD funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (HEALTH-F2-2012-304963)
10/2009 - Junior research group leader „Cell Death Mechanisms Group“ at the Institute for Ophthalmic Research (Director: Prof. Marius Ueffing)
10/2008 - Project leader in the DFG funded Clinical Research group (KFG 134) on:  “Inherited Retinal Diseases: Clinics, genetics, and animal models“ with a project on: “Comparative analysis on Cell Death Mechanisms in rd1 and cpfl1 photoreceptors”
10/2007 - 09/2008 Post-doctoral fellow at the Tübingen Centre for Ophthalmology, Institute for Ophthalmic Research (Germany); several research visits (up to 6 weeks) to the Ophthalmology Department at Lund University (Sweden)
2004 – 2007 August 2004: Position as post-doctoral fellow (Marie Curie stipend) in the Ophthalmology department at Lund University (Sweden)
2003 – 2004 Post-doctoral position at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover (Germany)

Additional information


  • French, Spanish, German, and English; fluent written and spoken (academic level)
  • Basic knowledge of Swedish

Professional Activities and Functions

Invited Presentations

04/2017 Targeting cGMP-signaling in inherited retinal degeneration: From basic research to clinical translation, ProRetina Meeting, Potsdam, Germany
05/2015 Retinitis Pigmentosa: Excessive cGMP signalling in Pde6a and Pde6b mouse mutants drives retinal degeneration. ARVO conference, Denver, USA
06/2014 Developing New Drugs and Delivery Systems for the Treatment of Inherited Retinal Degeneration: The DRUGSFORD Project, International Symposium on Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ISOPT), Reykjavik, Iceland
10/2013 Mécanismes de mort cellulaire et caractéristiques temporelles dans la rétinite pigmentaire. Société de Génétique Ophtalmologique francophone (SGOF) conférence, Montpellier, France
05/2013 How long does a photoreceptor take to die? Temporal characteristics of neuronal cell death in the retina. ARVO conference, Seattle, USA

Organization of Academic Events

06/2017 Co-Organizer of the Vision Camp conference for young researchers in vision science (website), Castle Wildenstein, Germany  (also in 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010).
06/2012 Symposium on retinal degeneration mechanisms at the 2012 International Society for Eye Research (ISER) meeting, Berlin, Germany
04/2011 Symposium on photoreceptor cell biology at the 2011 German  Neuroscience Society Meeting (together with Uwe Wolfrum, Mainz University), Göttingen, Germany

Academic Awards

05/2013 Alcon Research Institute Young Investigator Award ( Alcon Research Institute, Fort Worth, TX, USA
09/2011 ARVO ISOCB Conference-Travel Grant, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Rockville, MD, USA
08/2004 Fifth Place in the Nikon Small World Photography Contest: (
03/2004 Runner-up in the Brain Research scientific artwork competition: Paquet-Durand F: Differentiated human NT-2 neurons after 5 days in culture. Brain Res. 1000, xxix.

Academic Teaching and Services

05/2012 - present Tutorial: Journal club series (Tuebingen Graduate School for Cellular and Molecular Neurosciences)
10/2009 - present Lecture and Tutorial: The Visual System (Tuebingen Graduate School for Cellular and Molecular Neurosciences)
10/2010 - present Lecture: Genetic diseases of the visual system (Tuebingen Medical Faculty School for Molecular Medicine)

Past and Current Funding

2015 - 2018 The role of Ca2+ during cone photoreceptor cell death, DFG (PA1751/7-1)
2014 - 2017 Bringing Gene Supplementation Therapy for Inherited PDE6A- and CNGA3-associated Retinopathies into Clinical Practice, RD-Cure (, Kerstan Foundation
2012 - 2016 Preclinical development of drugs and drug delivery technology for the treatment of inherited photoreceptor degeneration, DRUGSFORD (; HEALTH-F2-2012-304963)
2011 - 2014 The role of protein kinase G (PKG) during photoreceptor degeneration, DFG (PA1751/4-1)
2008 - 2013 Comparative analysis on Cell Death Mechanisms in rd1 and cpfl1 photoreceptors, DFG (PA1751/1-1)

Selected Publications

  1. Kulkarni M, Trifunović D, Schubert T, Euler T, Paquet-Durand F. Calcium dynamics change in degenerating cone photoreceptors. Hum Mol Genet. pii: ddw219. [Epub ahead of print], 2016.
  2. Valdés J, Trachsel-Moncho L, Sahaboglu A, Trifunović D, Miranda M, Ueffing M, Paquet-Durand F#, Schmachtenberg O. Organotypic retinal explant cultures as in vitro alternative for diabetic retinopathy studies. ALTEX [Epub: May 9. doi: 10.14573/altex.1603111], 2016.
  3. Arango-Gonzalez B*, Trifunović D*, Sahaboglu A, Kranz K, Michalakis S, Farinelli P, Koch S, Koch F, Cottet S, Janssen-Bienhold U, Dedek K, Biel M, Zrenner E, Euler T, Ekström P, Ueffing M, Paquet-Durand F. Identification of a common non-apoptotic cell death mechanism in hereditary retinal degeneration. PLoS One, 9:e112142, 2014.
  4. Sahaboglu A, Paquet-Durand O, Dietter J, Dengler K, Bernhard-Kurz S, Ekström P, Hitzmann B, Ueffing M, Paquet-Durand F: Retinitis Pigmentosa: Rapid neurodegeneration is governed by slow cell death mechanisms. Cell Death Dis, 4, e488, 2013.
  5. Jaumann M, Dettling J, Gubelt M, Zimmermann U, Gerling A, Paquet-Durand F, Feil S, Wolpert S, Franz C, Varakina K, Xiong H, Brandt N, Kuhn S, Geisler HS, Rohbock K, Ruth P, Schlossmann J, Hütter J, Sandner P, Feil R, Engel J, Knipper M, Rüttiger L: cGMP-Prkg1 signaling and Pde5 inhibition shelter cochlear hair cells and hearing function. Nature Med, 18:252-9, 2012.
  6. Paquet-Durand F, Beck S, Michalakis S, Goldmann T, Huber G, Mühlfriedel R, Trifunovic D, Fischer MD, Fahl E, Duetsch G, Becirovic E, Wolfrum U, van Veen T, Biel M, Tanimoto N, Seeliger MW: A key role for cyclic–nucleotide gated (CNG) channels in cGMP-related retinitis pigmentosa. Hum Mol Gen, 20:941-7, 2011.
  7. Paquet-Durand F, Hauck SM, van Veen T, Ueffing M, Ekström P: PKG activity causes photoreceptor cell death in two Retinitis Pigmentosa models. J Neurochem, 108:796-810, 2009.
  8. Sancho-Pelluz J, Arango-Gonzalez B, Kustermann S, Romero FJ,  van Veen T, Zrenner E, Ekström P, Paquet-Durand F: Photoreceptor cell death mechanisms in inherited retinal degeneration. Mol Neurobiol, 38:253-69, 2008.
  9. Paquet-Durand F*, Silva J*, Talukdar T, Johnson L, Azadi S, Hauck S, Ueffing M, van Veen T, Ekström P: Excessive activation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) contributes to inherited photoreceptor degeneration in the rd1 mouse. J Neurosci, 27:10311-10319, 2007.
  10. Paquet-Durand F, Azadi S, Hauck SM, Ueffing M, van Veen T, Ekström P: Calpain is activated in degenerating photoreceptors in the rd1 mouse. J Neurochem, 96:802-814, 2006.