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 Institution Position Discipline
04/2017 - present Mireca Medicines GmbH, Tübingen Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) Biotech industry
02/2016 – present Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tübingen Assistant Professor Neuronal pathophysiology
09/2012 – 08/2016 Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tübingen Coordinator and Project leader EU-FP7 DRUGSFORD (HEALTH-F2-2012-304963;
10/2009 – present Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tübingen Group leader Neuronal pathophysiology
08/2008 – 02/2013 Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tübingen Project leader DFG Clinical Research group (KFO134): Inherited Retinal Diseases: Clinics, genetics, and animal models
10/2007 – 09/2009 Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tübingen, Germany Post-doctoral research fellow Neuronal pathophysiology
08/2004 – 09/2007 Ophthalmology Dept. University of Lund, Sweden Post-doctoral research fellow Neuronal pathophysiology
12/2003 – 07/2004 School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany Post-doctoral research fellow Neuronal pathophysiology

Additional information


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


  • Association for research in vision and ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • Society for Neuroscience (SFN)
  • European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER)
  • German Neuroscience Society (NWG)

Professional Activities and Functions

Invited Presentations (selection)

10/2019 Targeting cGMP-signaling to protect photoreceptors in hereditary retinal degeneration. EVER conference, Nice, France
05/2019 Mireca: Using cGMP-signalling for the development of new treatments for hereditary retinal degeneration. Inherited retinal dystrophies meeting at Jules Stein Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
09/2018 Hereditary retinal degeneration: A cGMP analogue combined with liposomal drug delivery system protects photoreceptors morphologically and functionally. RD meeting, Kilarney, Ireland
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

2010-2020 Co-Organizer of the Vision Camp conference for young researchers in vision science (, Castle Wildenstein, Germany.
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

08/2017 Science2Start award, BioRegio STERN, Stuttgart, Germany (
03/2017 Innovation award of the German Bioregions, BioDeutschland, Berlin, Germany (
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

10/2018 - present Mentorship, SPIRiT mentoring program for medical students, Tübingen Medical faculty
06/2012 - present How to study Cell Death: Methods and Techniques, Tübingen Medical Faculty
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

2019 - 2022 Developing nanocapsules for the targeted drug delivery to the neuroretina, DFG (PA1751/10-1)
2018 - 2021 Developing novel cyclic GMP analogues for the treatment of hereditary retinal degeneration, Baden Württemberg Stiftung WSF-006
2017 - 2021 Educating the next generation of scientists in translational medicine: Focus on eye diseases, transMed (; H2020-MSCA-ETN-765441
2018 - 2020 Targeting CNG-Ca2+ channels: Evaluation of pharmacological and genetic knock-down approaches in retinitis pigmentosa, DFG (PA1751/8-1)
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. Power M, Das S, Schütze K, Marigo V, Ekström P, Paquet-Durand F. Cellular mechanisms of hereditary photoreceptor degeneration - Focus on cGMP. Prog Retin Eye Res. 100772. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2019.07.005. [Epub ahead of print] 2019.
  2. Paquet-Durand F, Beck SC, Das S, Huber G, Le Chang, Schubert T, Tanimoto N, Garcia-Garrido M, Mühlfriedel R, Bolz S, Hoffmann W, Schraermeyer U, Mordmüller B, Seeliger MW. A retinal model of cerebral malaria. Sci Rep. 9:3470, 2019.
  3. Vighi E, Trifunović D, Veiga-Crespo P, Rentsch A, Hoffmann D, Sahaboglu A, Strasser T, Kulkarni M, Bertolotti E, van den Heuvel A, Peters T, Reijerkerk A, Euler T, Ueffing M, Schwede F, Genieser HG, Gaillard P, Marigo V, Ekström P, Paquet-Durand F. Combination of cGMP analogue and drug delivery system provides functional protection in hereditary retinal degeneration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 115:E2997-E3006, 2018.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  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.