Many people should be acknowledged for the direct and indirect support during the development of this work.

Providing me orientation, support and giving me an excellent example of how to be an advisor is Prof. Jens G. Reich. Thank you for your patience, clarifications and very dedicated work during the whole process.

From Heidelberg and Munich, Prof. Martina Muckenthaler, who was my first contact to Germany and iron metabolism, Prof. Matthias Hentze who kindly received me in his laboratory and Prof. Klaus Schümann, for providing us support with his extensive knowledge of the physiology of iron.

From our side in Berlin, I need to mention our very effective and kind secretary Edelgard Wolf. Tatjana Luganska, Dr. Klaus Rohde, Sven and Anja also should be mentioned for being very nice work colleagues and receiving me very well in Berlin.

In addition, the whole group of Dr. Miguel Andrade should be acknowledged for their friendship and kindness. Matt, Enrique, Adriano, Martin, Jean-Fred, David, Nancy and Marie.

I'm also grateful to the good friends that I made during my short stay in MDC: Maliha, Andrey Goncalves and many many others who were every Friday in the event organized by Matt and me.

And finally, my girlfriend, Katharina Rost.

Thank you all.

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