Dr Lina Schiffer PhD

Dr Lina Schiffer

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Lina’s research investigates how steroid hormones are activated and metabolised in the human body and how they impact on human physiology and pathophysiology. After completing her PhD in steroid biochemistry, she joined Professor Arlt’s group at the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2016 to employ translation ex-vivo approaches to study steroid metabolism in different human tissues.


  • PhD (Dr. rer. nat.), Saarland University, 2016
  • Diploma in Human and Molecular Biology, Saarland University, 2013


Lina has a diploma in Human and Molecular Biology and completed her PhD at the Institute of Biochemistry at Saarland University (Germany) working on adrenal steroidogenic cytochromes P450 and their drug-metabolising potential. Since 2016, she has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Professor Arlt and the Steroid Metabolome Analysis Core at the University of Birmingham. Lina trained in analytical chemistry and tandem mass spectrometry for quantitative steroid analysis with Professor Brian Keevil at the Univeristy Hospital of South Manchester.


Lina’s current research in Professor Arlt’s group aims to understand the tissue-specific mechanisms of androgen activation and inactivation and their role for the regulation of metabolic health. This work focusses on key metabolic tissues, such as adipose and the liver, with a special interest in the role of androgens for the development of metabolic dysfunction in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Additionally, Lina develops liquid chromatography tandem with mass spectrometry and ultraperformance convergence chromatography tandem mass spectrometry methods for steroid profiling in experimental and clinical samples. 


My NCBI-My bibliography: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1H7dia2XRcmcwc/bibliography/public/

Original research papers

Barnard, L, Schiffer, L, Du-Toit, RL, Tamblyn, J, Chen, S, Africander, D, Arlt, W, Foster, P & Storbeck, K-H 2021, '11-oxygenated estrogens are a novel class of human estrogens but do not contribute to the circulating estrogen pool', Endocrinology, vol. 162, no. 3, bqaa231. https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqaa231

Schiffer, L, Bossey, A, Kempegowda, P, Taylor, A, Akerman, I, Scheel-Toellner, D, Storbeck, K-H & Arlt, W 2021, 'Peripheral blood mononuclear cells preferentially activate 11-oxygenated androgens', European Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 184, no. 3, pp. 353–363. https://doi.org/10.1530/EJE-20-1077

Xu, W, Schiffer, L, Qadir, MMF, Zhang, Y, Hawley, J, Mota De Sa, P, Keevil, BG, Wu, H, Arlt, W & Mauvais-Jarvis, F 2020, 'Intracrine testosterone activation in human pancreatic β cells stimulates insulin secretion.', Diabetes. https://doi.org/10.2337/db20-0228

Barnard L, Nikolaou N, Louw C, Schiffer L, Gibson H, Gilligan LC, Gangitano E, Snoep J, Arlt W, Tomlinson JW, Storbeck KH. The A-ring reduction of 11-ketotestosterone is efficiently catalysed by AKR1D1 and SRD5A2 but not SRD5A1. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Jul 3:105724. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105724. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32629108

Bacila I, Adaway J, Hawley J, Mahdi S, Krone R, Patel L, Alvi S, Randell T, Gevers E, Dattani M, Cheetham T, Kyriakou A, Schiffer L, Ryan F, Crowne E, Davies JH, Ahmed SF, Keevil B, Krone N. Measurement of salivary adrenal-specific androgens as biomarkers of therapy control in 21-hydroxylase deficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Jul 30. pii: jc.2019-00031. doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-000 PMID: 3136132131

Schiffer L, Adaway JE, Arlt W, Keevil BG. ANNALS EXPRESS: A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay for the profiling of classical and 11-oxygenated androgens in saliva. Ann Clin Biochem. 2019 Apr 30:4563219847498. doi: 10.1177/0004563219847498. PMID: 31037957

Schiffer L, Adaway JE, Arlt W, Keevil BG. A novel high-throughput assay for the measurement of salivary progesterone by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Ann Clin Biochem. 2019 Jan;56(1):64-71. doi: 10.1177/0004563218780904. PMID: 29792048

Neunzig J, Milhim M, Schiffer L, Khatri Y, Zapp J, Sánchez-Guijo A, Hartmann MF, Wudy SA, Bernhardt R. The steroid metabolite 16(β)-OH-androstenedione generated by CYP21A2 serves as a substrate for CYP19A1. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2017 Mar;167:182-191. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.01.002. PMID: 28065637

Schiffer L, Müller AR, Hobler A, Brixius-Anderko S, Zapp J, Hannemann F, Bernhardt R. Biotransformation of the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists spironolactone and canrenone by human CYP11B1 and CYP11B2: Characterization of the products and their influence on mineralocorticoid receptor transactivation. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2016 Oct;163:68-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2016.04.004. PMID: 27125452

Schiffer L, Brixius-Anderko S, Hannemann F, Zapp J, Neunzig J, Thevis M, Bernhardt R. Metabolism of oral turinabol by human steroid hormone-synthesizing cytochrome P450 enzymes. Drug Metab Dispos. 2016 Feb;44(2):227-37. doi: 10.1124/dmd.115.066829. Epub 2015 Dec 9. PMID: 26658226

Brixius-Anderko S, Schiffer L, Hannemann F, Janocha B, Bernhardt R. A CYP21 based whole-cell system in Escherichia coli for the biotechnological production of Premedrol. Microb Cell Fact. 2015 Sep 15; 14:135. doi: 10.1186/s12934-015-0333-2. PMID: 26374204

Schiffer L, Anderko S, Hobler A, Hannemann F, Kagawa N, Bernhardt R. A recombinant CYP11B1 dependent Escherichia coli biocatalyst for selective cortisol production and optimization towards a preparative scale. Microb Cell Fact. 2015 Feb 25; 14:25. doi: 10.1186/s12934-015-0209-5. PMID: 25880059

Review Articles

Schiffer L, Barnard L, Baranowski ES, Gilligan LC, Taylor AE, Arlt W, Shackleton CHL, Storbeck KH. Human steroid biosynthesis, metabolism and excretion are differentially reflected by serum and urine steroid metabolomes: a comprehensive review. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2019 Jul 27:105439. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2019.105439. PMID: 31362062

Storbeck KH, Schiffer L, Baranowski ES, Chortis V, Prete A, Barnard L, Gilligan LC, Taylor AE, Idkowiak J, Arlt W, Shackleton CHL. Steroid metabolome analysis in disorders of adrenal steroid biosynthesis and metabolism. Endocr Rev. 2019 Jul 11. pii: er.2018-00262. doi: 10.1210/er.2018-00262. PMID: 31294783

Schiffer L, Storbeck KH, Arlt W. Intracrine androgen biosynthesis, metabolism and action revisited. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2018 Apr 15;465:4-26. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2017.08.016. Epub 2017 Sep 1.  PMID: 28865807

Schiffer L, Kempegowda P, Arlt W, O'Reilly MW. MECHANISMS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY: The sexually dimorphic role of androgens in human metabolic disease. Eur J Endocrinol. 2017 Sep;177(3):R125-R143. doi: 10.1530/EJE-17-0124. PMID: 28566439

Schiffer L, Anderko S, Hannemann F, Eiden-Plach A, Bernhardt R. The CYP11B subfamily. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Jul;151:38-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2014.10.011. PMID: 25465475

Schiffer L, Arlt W, O’Reilly MW. Understanding the role of androgen action in female adipose tissue. in Pasquali R, Pignatelli D (eds): Hyperandrogenism in Women. Front Horm Res. Basel, Karger, 2019, vol 53, pp 33–49 doi: 10.1159/000494901

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