Assoc. Prof. Dr. Christian Kowol

Prodrug Development, Drug Delivery Systems, Drug Targeting

Phone: +43 1 4277 52611
Währinger Straße 42, "Wolkenflügel" Room W2164
(Access via the main staircase between 1st and 2nd floor, floor plan.)

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Research Focus

Chemotherapy and therapy with small targeted molecules are two major strategies for treatment of human cancer at the disseminated stage. However, even when using new targeted drugs, the therapy is often limited by severe side effects, resistance development and insufficient tumor accumulation.

The research of my group focuses on the development of new strategies to overcome these limitations:

  • Bioinorganic prodrug development of clinically approved drugs to prevent the occurrence of severe side effects
  • Drug delivery systems like nanoparticles, liposomes, polymers for tumor-specific accumulation and activation of anticancer drugs
  • Drug targeting strategies using tumor-specific peptides

All research projects are highly interdisciplinary and are developed in close cooperation with the Institute of Cancer Research of the Medical University of Vienna within the Research Cluster “Translational Cancer Therapy Research”.

News & Press Releases


2016 Förderpreis of the Vienna Fund for Innovative Interdisciplinary Cancer Research for the publication “Tumor-Targeting of EGFR Inhibitors by Hypoxia-Mediated Activation"

2014 INiTS Award, 1st place for “Tumor-specific, Hypoxia-based Activation of EGFR-Inhibitors”

2014 RIZ GENIUS Award, 3rd place for “Tumor-specific Tyrosinkinase Inhibitors for Efficient Cancer Therapy”

2011 Forschungsentwicklungspreis of the Vienna Fund for innovative interdisciplinary cancer research

2010 Bank Austria Award to support innovative research projects (Preis zur Förderung innovativer Forschungsprojekte)

Scientific Collaborations

KARST, Uwe, University of Münster, Germany

ENYEDY, Éva Anna, University of Szeged, Hungary

FALLER Peter, University of Strasbourg, France

TEASDALE, Ian, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria


Alexander Kastner, MSc
Metal-based Anticancer prodrugs

Phone: +43 1 4277 52613
Währinger Straße 42, Room W2168

Martijn Dijkstra, MSc
Anticancer Platinum(IV) Prodrugs

Phone: +43 1 4277 52613
Währinger Straße 42, Room W2168

Anja Federa, MSc.
Anticancer tyrosine kinase inhibitor prodrugs

Phone: +43 1 4277 52613
Währinger Straße 42, Room W2168



Anna Giulia Iaia, MSc
Novel albumin-binding anticancer prodrugs

Währinger Straße 42, Room W2167

Dr. Julia Bormio Nunes
ESPRIT Postdoc Program: Silver complexes to overcome resistance in ovarian cancer

Phone: +43 1 4277 52614
Währinger Straße 42, Room W2169

Michael Bruckner, BSc.
Anticancer thiosemicarbazone prodrug systems

Währinger Straße 42, Room W2167

Former Team Members

  • Philipp Fronik (PhD student)
    Design, synthesis and evaluation of novel platinum(IV) prodrugs for cancer therapy
  • Marlene Mathuber (PhD student)
    Prodrug and passive targeting strategies for anticancer therapeutics
  • Björn Bielec (PhD student)
    Development of tumor-targeting and prodrug strategies of tyrosine kinase inhibitors
  • Sebastian Kallus (PhD student)
    Drug delivery systems for cancer therapy
  • Karla Pelivan (PhD student)
    Bioanalytical investigations of thiosemicarbazone anticancer drugs
  • Marianne Lahnsteiner (Master's student)
    Synthesis and reactivity of thiol-targeting moieties for drug delivery
  • Alexander Unterlercher (Master's student)
    Development of Anticancer Thiosemicarbazone Prodrug Systems
  • Florian Bachmann (Master's student)
    Novel albumin-targeting platinum anticancer complexes
  • Julia Bormio Nunes (Visiting PhD student, Department of Inorganic Chemistry Department, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil)
  • Josef Mayr (PhD student)
    Maleimide-functionalized platinum(IV) complexes as platform for tumor-targeted drug delivery
  • Claudia Karnthaler-Benbakka (PhD student)
    Targeting a Targeted Drug - Tumor-Specific Prodrug Systems of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors
  • Britta Fischer (PhD student)
    Development of drug delivery systems for clinically investigated anticancer agents